Monday, March 2, 2009

Noise Pop 2009: Les Savy Fav Played Mezzanine - Pictures, Review

"This is a rock and roll situation" - Tim Harrington uttered these words last night during Noise Pop's closing party with Les Savy Fav, and we couldn't agree more. While we had been warned that LSF's live set was "intense", "unbelieveable", and "off the hook", nothing really could have prepared us for the insanity that descended from the stage at Mezzanine last night.

Harrington is simply intent on destroying any perceived notions of safety or rock and roll standards: he was willing to go anywhere, do anything, and let (it seemed) anyone on stage. The band's lead singer started out the night wrapped in toilet paper and claiming it was a cast, and over the course of the night would find himself draped in a curtain, in a striped sailor's shirt, tied to a fan with duct tape, and wearing no shirt at all.

Harrington's antics, however, weren't limited to clothing: there were certainly actions as well: he descended into the crowd multiple times, without any intent on having a cordless mic. He did an airplane from the balcony and then slid down the stairs on a pair of ottomans. He shoved a half eaten banana in the mouth of a photographer, and kissed the lens of another. He drenched three fans on stage with a garbage pail of beer, and made a call on the phone of another. It simply never let up.

For the fans' part, the crowd was loving every minute of it, and embraced Harrington's disregard of convention as their own. Numerous fans climbed on stage and made themselves a part of the stage show. The photo barrier was all but irrelevant and was dissolved about halfway through the show as the throng of fans surged forward to be closer to the band. That being said, the reaction was not all crazed mania: there was definitely fans of the band who were there for the music, and not just getting sucked into the craziness.

So, how was the music? To be frank, sometimes it was difficult to separate from the on stage antics, but the fact of the matter is that it was very, very good. Harrington's vocals were significantly more garbled and spoken-word then they are on the records, but the rest of the band managed their duties with precise expertise, which was surprising given all that was going on around them. The band's music is pretty straight-ahead rock and roll, so given a solid foundation, it shouldn't be too hard to recreate in a live setting. Still, we were impressed that given the nature of the show they were able to deliver such a tight, precise.

We attended the show with a friend who had seen the band three times before, and has every intent of seeing them again and again and again. Frankly, we can see why: Les Savy Fav delivers a show that is simultaneously memorable, unique, musically accessible, and full of such extreme vitality that it's impossible not to love. What's more, in the context of a week that was laced with so much fantastic music, there needed to be a finale that completely evaded any kind of comparison, and Les Savy Fav achieved that without a doubt.

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive.


Andrea said...

That top pic is creeeeeepy ... in a completely awesome way.