Alright, let’s get one thing straight. The Fox’s sound system needs some fixing up, since all three of the bands at Wednesday’s show suffered from it. The vocals of all three bands varied in audio levels — School of Seven Bells being hit the hardest — and it made for a less exciting show.
Thankfully, the electric performances of the night made up for the venue’s poor vocal mixing. Atlas Genius opened up the night with a stunning set that consisted of more than just their three song EP. The band played tracks that they said would appear on their full length album, which is one to look forward to if their performance was any indication. If Foster the People grew some balls and varied up their sound so that each track actually stood out on its own, that would almost be as good as what Atlas Genius sounded like. Although they started out a little stiff, the band quickly warmed up to the crowd, sharing some of that Australian flair and charm. The set was short, sweet, and to the point, as the band concluded with their single “Trojans.”
School of Seven Bells should have taken a note from Atlas Genius in the brevity of the set. While the semi-gothic, electronic rock band started out strong, their set felt much longer than it should’ve been. With the songs starting to meld into each other, the set quickly become monotonous, especially since they were only delaying the main act from coming on.
After School of Seven Bells left the stage, Silversun Pickups finally graced the Fox. Opening with “Skin Graph,” the opening track on their new album Neck of the Woods, the band then jumped into the dark, fast-paced rhythms of “The Royal We” from their sophomore album Swoon. Unfortunately, after their third song in, when the crowd was riled up and ready for more, singer/guitarist Brian Aubert’s guitar rig suddenly died out. While the stage crew frantically tried to fix the faulty electronics, the band soothed the crowd with a guitar-less rendition of “Three Seed,” which is a rare track for the band to play live.
The guitar rig was fixed shortly after the band finished the song, and they continued to romp through most of the new album. Some tracks from Swoon were thrown in as well such as “Substitution” and “Catch and Release,” but the majority of the set was dedicated to the new album. As the band left the frenzied crowd with the combo of “Panic Switch” and “Lazy Eye,” the band was more than welcomed back for an encore.
The band closed with the upbeat classic “Well Thought Out Twinkles.” Although they didn’t dissapoint in terms of performance and energy, there was a lack of the usual crowd interaction that the band — especially Aubert — is known for. There definitely was some interaction, just not as much as they usually do. Perhaps the double opening acts forced the band to rush? Regardless, it’s a minor complaint, as the band still gave a phenomenal performance. If you didn’t see them last Wednesday, it might be awhile until you get another chance, due to the visible pregnancy of bassist Nikki Monninger. When they do come back, though — pregnant bassist or not — the band will surely please the crowd again in a display their trademark distorted riffs and melodic synth grooves.
Ian Birnam is the lead music critic. Contact Ian at [email protected]
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