Monday, April 28, 2008

Les Savy Fav at The Great American Music Hall

While I was slightly fearing this show because
1) both friends I was supposed to go with bailed on me and
2) my brother had told me horror stories about Les Savy Sav shows
I remained optimistic and excited to get inside the GAMH and get into it.
I was going mostly for, I confess, The Dodos. They are a recent band who have captured my heart and I love them dearly. I was so excited to be going to see them. Les Savy Fav is a band that I have listened to on occasion, but who I definitley know. Not only have they been raised up to a sort of indie Gods status over the years, their live shows are quite frankly the talk of the town. I was greatly anticipating my little date with them.

The Dodos played about a 45 minute set of bliss. They performed extremely well and their songs sounded even more powerful live. The record gives off a sort of folksy, yet amped up and feeling-filled sound, and live these sentiments are still strong. Yet they come off stronger and hit you more directly by many different factors. Firstly, both members of The Dodos, Meric Long and Logan Kroeber, are energetic and obviously very much into what they are doing. It's hard not to watch them play and observe their tactics of either rushing back and forth between instruments, pedal pressing, or their smooth transitions between songs (just as smooth as the record. Extremely impressive).
Touring with an extra member who played xylophone, an extra drum, and toy piano, The Dodos filled the stage and entire room with their music and messages. The echoing vocals and twangy notes from the guitar paired with the intense smashing of cymbals and drums is beautiful and intense in a wonderful way.

That being said, if you haven't heard the album, I don't know whats wrong with you.

As soon as The Dodos left the stage, I found myself sort of wanting them to be headlining, yet extremely excited to see Les Savy Fav perform. I have to say that this was the aboslute shortest amount of time I have ever waited between bands when the headliner was about to go on. Really. It was at most twenty minutes.
My brother had told me to go on YouTube and watch videos so I knew what to expect. I didn't. I'm glad I didn't.

What is a Les Savy Fav performance?A way of life.

First off, the band is just plain great. They are awesome musicians with skill and precision despite the rantings and random vocalizing of leading man Tim Harrington. And Harrington there just are no words to describe. He is a mass of energy that fills the entire crowd...quite literally. Harrington came down off of the stage no less than four times to dance and mosh with everyone even while continung a song quite strongly. The entire show held together and the energy did not drop, not even for a moment. Their charisma is amazing.

From forcing people to kiss his toes, to pouring beer all over the crowd, Harrington made things far from boring for the spectators. Being directly in the front, I got to experience many of his antics first hand, including having beer spit all over me and water thrown down my back. All watched in a strange mixture of disgust and admiration as Harrington hacked a loogy into the air and caught it back in his mouth perfectly. Simply stunning.

The music live is something to behold. On CD, these guys are already pretty in your face and rough when it comes to yelling lyrics, smashing guitar riffs, and insane drummings. Live, this all comes off even more intensely, especially paired with Harrington's disgusting yet fascinating escapades of debauchery. The entire room shakes as everyone dances, pushes, shoves, and screams along with deep bass beats, fast guitar solos, loud drums, and the yells and shouts of vocals. I couldn't help but notice that all the instruments were amped up far above what is normally expected (as someone behind me observed before it began and they were sound testing, "Damn, this is gonna be loud").

Les Savy Fav had us yelling and dancing, all crouching on the ground then springing back up at the last moment together, and begging that we might just might get caught in another beer spray.

After an hour set, LSF returned for three encores which Harrington performed in a full body leotard, jiggling around the stage with ferocity. The end was a smash of noise, sweat, and yet pure love for LSF . At the end, as the rest of the band left the stage smiling and waving, I saw Harrington dash to the sound guy and embarassingly pass him a mic he had broken the top off of. "I'm really sorry..." he said sheepishly. This really finalized the evening. On top of it all, no matter how insane they were onstage, look how much they cared...

...for you, for me, for that microphone: they just want you to have a good time.