Does It Offend You, Yeah? @ Great American Music Hall, 9/18/08

It was the name that drew me in. The word ‘offend’, posed as a question, Austin Powers style….I had to check it out. And I liked what I heard.

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It’s my fifth night at GAMH in 2 weeks. The crowd is light but young, with a glint of angst in their eyes. As soon as the band hit the stage, they exploded. It was my first GAMH mosh pit spotting.

I hadn’t looked at images or video of this band before the show. They were not what I expected. I thought for something a bit more loud and punky, with a distinctive style. In fact, their stage presence only showed glimpses of raw energy, when I expected a frantic, slightly crude show. Their aesthetic was forgettable. The crowd made up for it, and their energy was infectious.

A few songs in, after the initial high wore off, I noticed that their sound was a bit flat. It was when ‘Let’s Make Out’ came on that I knew I was a bit let down. Not a lot, but just enough to notice. I was listening to the songs more in my head than to what was coming out of the speakers, and this is what I was dancing to.

It’s not that they sounded bad, it’s that they were too serious, and lacked the X factor. They asked for a show of hands on who stole their album, and who bought it, and pointed out that the hands were not statistically accurate. Really? That’s kind of a downer. I don’t wanna hear the word statistics at your show, that’s a work term.

Crowd surfers were flying around, and after a couple landed on stage, one of the vocalists waved off the rest. Then I realized, they are trying too hard. Why so serious? It was only at the very end during ‘We Are Rockstars’, and the encore, a cover of ‘Whip It’, that they let loose a bit more. I saw a smidgen of Aaron North style guitar action go down, but unfortunately, the knock-you-over distortion didn’t blast me to match what I was seeing.

The set was maybe 45 minutes to an hour. And that was with a decent amount of band banter. I knew there wasn’t a lot of material, but you should never leave your audience going, “well, it was only $13”.

setlist (may need work):

Weird Science
Doomed Now
Battle Royale
Being Bad Feels Pretty Good
Attack Of The 60 FT Lesbian Octopus
Let’s Make Out
Dawn Of The Dead
With A Heavy Heart (I Regret To Inform You)
We Are Rockstars

Whip It

OVERALL: 7/10
DIOYY performance: 7/10
Team Robespierre performance: 7/10
venue (Great American Music Hall): 9/10
crowd/scene: 6.5/10 (first concert, kids? don’t throw water…lame)
value ($13/ticket): 9/10
memorable: 6.5/10

Related Posts

And You Heard the Sparrows in the Gutters: Red Sparowes, Fang Island, Oxbow @ GAMH, 5/7/10

Into the Fuzz: io echo, A Place to Bury Strangers @ Great American Music Hall, 3/10/10

3 Comments

  1. Eryn

    09.19.2008

    Reply

    That really is a perfect summary. Spot on! (uh oh, I might be suffering from Foreign Accent Syndrome)

    Especially the crowd which turned the GAMH floor into a trampoline. You physically could not have stood there and not bounced around!

  2. John

    09.19.2008

    Reply

    I agree with your summary. 7/10 seems right on. At GAMH I find the sound is better in the back, but last night it was really hit or miss – especially with the keyboards. Sometimes they were way to loud and other times too soft.

    The comments about the downloaded albums versus purchased was a buzz kill for sure.

    I was also confused why sometimes the lead singer played bass and other times the bass was a pre-recorded sample.

    Despite all that, I enjoyed the show and really like the band. The album is great. The concert was fun.

  3. Primate King

    06.07.2009

    Reply

    Very nice write-up here. I'm doing a follow-up on the show with a recording that will soon be up on my blog, Smokeland California. Hope you come by and check out the recording 🙂

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