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SWOON Tour 2009

 

DATE VENUE MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
                 
October 17, 2009 Lupo's at the Strand, Providence Silversun Pickups  Cage The Elephant  An Horse     YES  

 

THE BAND

Brian Aubert (vocals, guitar),   Nikki Monninger (bass),  

Joe Lester (keyboards),   Christopher Guaniao (drums)

 

 

Concert Review: Silversun Pickups @ Lupo's in Providence RI

Review courtesy of Cindal Says http://cindalsays.posterous.com/concert-review-silversun-pickups-lupos-in-pro

I can still feel the rush of energy, and the sound of bass pumping even now. Silversun Pickups sold out Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel theater. It was so packed people were filing in to the top row of the high-rise balcony. Bodies surrounding the venue seemed much like bundled up wires, fusing their prospects together with beer, and musical anticipation.

As a follow-up 40th Birthday Bash event for local alternative radio station WBRU in Providence RI. It has now been proven that they know how to throw a pretty damn good party! The line-up starting with An Horse, followed by southern-grunge rock group Cage The Elephant, headlined by the most anticipated Silversun Pickups.The venue was not much to talk about — I am sure it was a gem back in its day. However, for now it's a run down rock venue, which turns into a hip hop club after hours.

So if you can picture the kind of place I am talking about, you'll understand that the scene set practically perfect for this kind of show.

Lupo's was packed, a turn out I had heard some say was the best they'd seen in this place all year. The two opening acts served as a great appetizer for the audience. Getting everyone riled up, but just awful enough to keep them contained for the headliner. (Sorry, but Cage The Elephant was nothing to rant about.)

Hell I went out and bought Carnavas when "Lazy Eye" exploded onto the radio. I am not a super-fan, but I can dig what they offer. The most amazing part about all of this is that I had half expected this show to be a pretty average rated performance. So maybe my attitude in the beginning set me up to be either totally right or completely blown away. The latter of which I find does not happen on very many occasions with today's music indulgences. So what was to follow was as alarming to me, as it was for much of the audience I am sure.

Silversun Pickups put on a show so consuming, so phenomenal — I was, and still am completely blown away. This was the classic alternative rock show I thought had been buried for many, many years. Prior to this evening - of which nothing short of pure vitality was proven, the great genre that had been lost in between lines of grunge, 90’s alt-rock, and indie became stitched together in the most magnificent of ways. (Think of Smashing Pumpkins) Brian Aubert (lead vocals, guitar) performed volumes, stopping in between songs not to take a breath, but to repeatedly thank the fans. For which, they felt indebted to scream back gratitude's of their own.

 

 

Brian carried the show like the sweat pouring off his brow, manifesting vitality in every measure.

Silversun Pickups really know how to leave a lasting impression; they left every person standing on air. Playing all of the favorites as well as some of the new stuff off of Swoon. "Panic Switch" of course made high impact, drawing liters of sweat in from the energetic crowd. "Kissing Families" was my favorite; Silversun performed it as if they were to never play it again. "Lazy Eye" was one of the last of the songs to be played, and as their break-out hit you would expect them to be bored in its performance. But going with the shock & awe theme of the night, again- I was stunned.

However, the glory of the night didn't come from the front-man, or even the beautiful and talented Nikki Monninger (bassist). The highlight of the evening would have to be placed entirely on what happened behind the main act. The place where few onlookers tend to pay attention, the one band member often times left behind. This show made all the exceptions for shadowed out drummers everywhere. The incendiary performance by drummer Christopher Guanlao kept the spotlight illuminating his genuine talent all throughout the night. He proved song, after song his ability to win over the show.


At one point he did what seemed to be a three minute solo; the entire venue left standing still, jaws to the floor in awe. Even his fellow band-mates turned to him in silence and respect. It was like witnessing the national anthem at the beginning of the Superbowl. It was within that moment, my admiration for Silversun Pickups was solidified.

Lest not leave anyone in the dust, I also want to make notice of Joe Lester (keyboards). If it wasn't for him
Silversun would not have the pioneering sound that they do. This man is a pedestal for every sound Silversun Pickups processes, a mix-master if you will. Past the bands second encore (yes, second!) following the end of their last song Brian Aubert, and Joe Lester stayed behind on stage. A most unusual rendition of noise, which could be compared to Jimi Hendrix with modern day synthesizers and mix-tables. This whole spectacle left the crowd screaming for more, a solid five minutes after the lights had turned on.

 
Upon walking in at the beginning of the night, I was merely a music critic with a slight chip on my shoulder. At the end of the night, I was raging with the crowd as well as any fan standing there

 

 

Silversun Pickups @ Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI 10/17/09

Review courtesy of  Adam Costa  
 

Silversun Pickups at Lupo's, Providence, RI 10/17/09

Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in downtown Providence is a venerable, mid-sized club that often finds itself overshadowed by concert venues in nearby Boston, only 55 miles to the northeast. Yet for years, this gem of the Ocean State has been consistently bringing big name talent to its 1200-capacity hall, and usually at a fraction of the cost seen at clubs just an hour away. For those who were lucky enough to catch the Silversun Pickups’ blistering 90 minute set there last evening, it was especially gratifying to know that even critically acclaimed bands who have broken through on a mainstream level continue to seek it out as a performance space.

Billed as a 40th birthday bash for local rock station WBRU, the celebration turned out to be an indie rock trifecta, with An Horse and Cage the Elephant taking the stage first in support of SSPU’s headlining set. As a result, the sellout crowd – a surprisingly diverse cross section of three different age brackets – was treated to a mélange of earnest indie pop, frenetic punk, and a barrage of fuzzed out psychedelic alt-rock.

An Horse (Brisbane, Australia’s Damon Cox and Kate Cooper) got the crowd warmed up with a confident set of tunes that included fan favorites such as “Post Cards” and “Camp Out” (off of 2008’s Rearrange Beds). The temperature in the room swelled immediately though after Kentucky’s Cage the Elephant began its set. If last year’s self-titled debut could be characterized as freewheeling or raucous, then the performance unleashed on the unsuspecting Lupo’s crowd was nothing short of unhinged anarchy. They may have been billed as support, but the band dominated the stage like the evening’s main attraction. Singer Matt Shultz was in non-stop seizure mode, po-going off of his band mates and knocking over amplifiers when he wasn’t throwing himself into the sweaty audience’s welcoming embrace. Hits like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Back Against the Wall” had a fair amount of exuberance on record, but on stage, they took on a decidedly gritty punk vibe, not unlike the defiant noise rock of Japandroids or No Age.

After an ill-timed transition in which two of WBRU’s DJ’s introduced Silversun Pickups to the tune of Portishead’s “Machine Gun” blaring from the PA system, the evening’s biggest draw eased into their set with a slowly percolating version of “Growing Old Is Getting Old” from this year’s Swoon. Brian Aubert’s vocals were buried deep in the mix underneath his own guitar fuzz and Joe Lester’s ethereal keyboard harmonies, but it seemed a moot point since a majority of the audience knew all the words by heart. After tearing through sprightly renditions of “Well Thought Out Twinkles” (off of 2006’s Carnavas) and “Sort Of,” it was clear that the band had found its comfort zone. Aubert’s serpentine presence at the mic and Chris Guanlao’s theatrical work on the skins – often a flurry of hair and appendages that recalled The Muppet Show’s drummer, Animal – added a fair amount of physical intensity to a set that was often juxtaposed by the reserved dispositions of Lester and bassist Nikki Monninger.

The poorly mixed sound that made the intro of “There’s No Secrets This Year” practically indiscernible didn’t seem to phase the band in the slightest, with Aubert eventually leaving his post behind the mic stand to prance around the monitors and soak up some love from the first few rows of adoring fans. By the time the call-to-arms lyrics of “The Royal We” were sung (“We are ready for the siege / and we are armed to the teeth”) the audience – particularly those enjoying some harmless crowd surfing on the floor – seemed ready to go wherever the band would lead them. Dressed in his trademark flannel shirt and dark jeans, Aubert’s first exchange with the crowd was fairly candid: “You guys are pretty fuckin’ awesome. Thank you very fuckin’ much.”

Balancing the night between their only two LP’s, SSPU’s first set came to a close nearly an hour later with two songs – “Panic Switch and “Lazy Eye” – that seemed as if they were written to close out shows. Truly impressive was the gargantuan wall of sound that Aubert was able to coax from his semi-hollow body guitar during both tunes. With its wistful lyrics and hook-laden melodies, “Lazy Eye” instantly stood out as the Pickups’ most recognizable single – an epic jam that would work just as well in a football stadium as it does in a club setting.

After going for broke with their two biggest songs, the band’s encore seemed a bit more like an afterthought, with only “Common Reactor” hinting at the energy that had run throughout the band’s first set. Though anti-climactic in some ways, it was a pleasure to hear Monninger take over lead vocal duties on the infrequently performed “Creation Lake” (off of 2005’s Pikul EP).

Silversun Pickups’ sound may translate much better in an outdoor venue (their Lollapalooza set this past August was one of the weekend’s best), but neither the muddied audio mix inside Lupo’s nor the unimaginative lighting – the band spent most of the night bathed in shades of blue and red – could take away from a set that championed the band’s unquestionable ardor and musicianship.

 

 

Silversun Pickups Show Review

 
 

My friend Tom from back home came up to visit me (and the Silversun Pickups) this weekend. Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel was packed to the brim Saturday, October 17th. The show, according to the ticket/website, was suppossed to start at 8. We showed up at 7 and An Horse was already off the stage and Cage the Elephant was preparing to come on. So sorry we missed you An Horse, wish I could have written a review for you.

You may notice that the front man for Cage the Elephant, Matt Shultz, is no where to be found. That's because he's jamming out in the crowd, whilst singing. Cage the Elephant was an insanly entertaining set, playing old songs as well a few sneak peaks at a future album. Shultz also spoke of how he got his favorite tattoo in Providence and how much it had hurt at the time.

Silversun Pickups got on stage at about 8 o'clock, fairly early, I was shocked. The group played mainly new songs, however, I was extremely excited when they played Kissing Families, and even... Creation Lake ( which by some crazy chance, ended in an all out jam session)! The band was having an extremely fun time playing for this Providence Crowd. Speaking of which, there was a whole lot of crowd surfing which just added to the intensity. Someone told me that Silversun was not very good live, however I have to say that this is defiantly one of the top entertaining shows I have ever been to. I saw little kids crowd surfing, mom's dancing, dad's tapping their feet, the majority demographic of 20 year olds enjoying themselves, and everyone cheering constantly for encores.

I even had the luck to catch another setlist to add to my collection.

 

CONCERT MEMORIES:

*Note: if you were there and would like to share your memories, pictures or tape please send it info@rirocks.net

 

 

 

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