Saturday, May 8, 2010

los Campesinos!

Los Campesinos!
The Regency Ballroom
San Francisco, CA
May 7, 2010

I’ll be candid, I had some initial skepticism toward this band of seven or eight (it varies) players. What, w/the full-time violin & the glockenspiel, of all things. I mean, shit: such a thing could get a bit too proggy for a Friday night, right?

So I spent some time with Romance is Boring, the band’s current (& second) LP, & that did ease my concerns. It’s a sharp album: arresting, irreverent, darkly humorous. & while the playing exhibits finesse throughout, it just about never settles down into prettiness. Which would just be lazy. I appreciate that los Campesinos! are often rattling & roaring & (to tell you the truth) clattering. They went & hung that exclamation point at the end of their name &, by golly they do earn it.

So the album, I like. Friday night’s show, I fucking loved. Best concert I’ve seen in months. The audience was primed & ready, but there was no resting on laurels by this band. Los Campesinos! brought the goods, as if they had something to prove. Clear adherents to the more-is-more school of thought, the show was a rollick & a wallop, nonstop from start to finish.

There’s plenty of credit to share for that, but much of it does belong to lead singer (slash- glockenspielist, heh), Gareth (the band evidently eschews last names). Gareth is a disarming & delightful focal point onstage. & not only because he’s a thrillingly great bellower, but also for his herky-jerky stage moves. Explosive & spasmodic, all limbs akimbo, some might call it dancing I guess, whatevs. Gareth’s moves did inspire some decent moshing in the crowd there toward the end. Not to be undone, our man launched himself into the melee more than once. During the final encore, half the band followed, still playing on, patch cords trailing behind, utterly lost in the frolic in the crowd. Some might call that move punk rock, yo.

Strongly & unequivocally recommended, I must say. Hear some:

LC – We’ve Got Your Back (Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #2) – mp3

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