Monday, January 24, 2011
Ticket Stub: White Lies @ Neumos 1/22/11
Photo courtesy of gigsport.net official White Lies concert page.
We had the pleasure of seeing UK band White Lies perform a ton of stuff, both old and new, this past Saturday at Neumos. What I like about that venue is that it's a)centrally located to a ton of other things to do, which made it easy to have drinks at Lobby Bar beforehand and b)it actually has a great layout for the over 21 crowd where they can still see the action of the show yet maintain a safe distance and enjoy a beverage or some snacks. There's a balcony that overlooks the first floor, all-ages/main stage area so we got to enjoy big ol' bottles of Red Stripe while seeing opening band SHiPS perform.
SHiPS are a delightful local indie-pop group that remind me a lot of acts like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Yellowwolf. The drummer used to do his thing in Gatsby's American Dream and Acceptance, so there's tremendous talent backing them. They were warm and friendly to the crowd and had the perfect match up of silly and energetic. While the mostly underage crowd down below were doing the whole Arcade Fire "kids are still standin' with their arms folded tight" thing, the big kids upstairs seemed to really enjoy it. I saw plenty of head bobbing and foot tapping rather than shoe gazing and texting in the over 21 crowd.
White Lies put on a damn fine show. It was one of those rare moments where the live version sounded 97% like the recorded version, which really is saying something in the age of digital refinement and auto-tune. Plenty of tracks old and new were covered (including their most well-known track "Death") and they did a signing of the new album afterward. Harry McVeigh was like a more exciting Brandon Flowers; he engaged the crowd often and really concentrated on giving the most stellar vocal performance he could. Tommy Bowen's keyboards and synths are a HUGE part of the band's sound, and they didn't disappoint, either. He even got to go all wall-of-sound for a bit at the end, with only rhythmic bass to accompany his playing. The venue wasn't over-crowded but wasn't empty, so it definitely felt like a more intimate setting despite the high energy music, which was a good thing. The band really made the experience worth more than the cheap-ass ticket price.
And luckily there were veggie dogs shortly thereafter, as I was ready to maim for something to maw on after all that beer and good tunes.