Wednesday, February 13, 2008

foals w. team robespierre & the teeth @ bowery ballroom, 2/12/08

manhattanites! i am so disappointed in you! my boroughmates, you have shamed me! foals are a goddamn DANCE BAND. so you DANCE to them, not stand around stock still! i don't understand it at all. a handful of people (literally, five or maybe six) danced during foals' excellent show last night, and there was one only person who danced during team robespierre's set (and it was me, baby!). i know it's rather an easy shot to lambast manhattanites for not dancing, since we never do, but i was/am super bummed. not only by the minimal response to team robespierre (who, as you might recall, made the crowd go apeshit at their death by audio show two weeks ago), but by the practically absolute physical apathy for foals. they're the goddamn headliners, and you can't be bothered to shake your ass a little? can't we stop perpetuating the stereotype truth that the funnest shows are in brooklyn? unfortunately, i guess not.

aside from the embarrassing lack of movement (i'm not kidding - i'm really sad no one was dancing), last night's show was GREAT. i've been listening to foals for a couple months now (and antidotes for a few weeks), but without falling in love with the band; i certainly like their songs ("cassius" isn't the only awesome one) but it feels like foals' recorded material lacks something. i'm not sure what, but it doesn't really matter anymore, because, whatever it was, their lives show has it in fucking spades. the friendly friend over at sound bites warned us that we should expect to see foals' backs, but they've obviously learned a little about performing since cmj; they set up like a horseshoe, but weren't afraid to bust a move (frontman yannis philippakis climbed up off the stage at one point), and rocked out harder than the crowd. foals have enjoyed such a spiraling rise to prominence that their set held few surprises, but many highlights. "cassius," unsurprisingly, was awesome, as were their other singles "balloons," "mathletics," and "hummer" (also unsurprisingly, that's the closest the crowd ever got to dancing). though they were less well-known, i feel like the new antidotes material was more impressive - "heavy water," which yannis introduced as "a song about killing vampires," kicked extreme amounts of ass (grab the mp3 below) as did the live debut of "the race for radio supremacy." set closer "red socks pugie," one of antidotes' best cuts, closed the fantastic set, and foals walked off after clearly stating there would be no encore. after long minutes of cheering and hollering for more (so what, you yell instead of dancing? weak.), and orders from bowery staff (yannis: "they told us it was tradition"), foals returned, somewhat at a loss (they hadn't rehearsed any other songs), but valiantly did a great version of "big big love" before, presumably, passing out from exhaustion. foals are good performers - despite being heavily jetlagged and dazed, they bounded around the stage, postured for the crowd, and vomited from the exertion. it was awesome.

i highly recommend that you go see foals tonight at silent barn, where there are sure to be people who like to dance (it's in brooklyn). i wish i could make it. foals will be playing chop suey in seattle in a few days, and returning to the u.s. in may.

"heavy water"

"the race for radio supremacy"

signs that popular media (as in, media made by the populace) is getting out of control: when a team robespierre show has more photographers than dancers. team robespierre are one of brooklyn's biggest & newest exports, and, naturally, their live shows are expanding from warehouses and basements to more "establishment" venues like bowery ballroom, but this move isn't necessarily welcome (or, actually necessary). their show at mercury lounge was similarly awkward, with little audience participation, but it was easier to overcome there, where all four of team robespierre's vocalists took turn divebombing the crowd. at bowery ballroom last night, the team, minus lead singer tomasz, had incredibly energy, but seemed out of place. i'm happy they're moving up in the world, but stodgy manhattan non-dancing clubs are not the right venue for these guys. ty and rex and mike jumped into the crowd, but even that couldn't incite the masses to move - i'm not trying to boast when i say i was the only person dancing, because i was (i am trying to shame you though). i had a lot of fun (mike handed me the mic during the superawesome "88th precinct"), but, from my perspective, it felt like a farce, and through no fault of team robespierre's. even without tomasz, they spazzed all over the place, and their songs were as short and sweet as ever, but i know as well as they that brooklyn is the place to see them, that magical land where people aren't afraid to boogie a little.

the rumors are that the team will play again at the end of this month at a benefit for showpaper, todd p.'s free list of all all-ages shows, they also play mercury lounge again with crystal castles on march 26.

"black rainbow"

i wish i had a team robespierre video for you guys. fortunately, i was too busy dancing.

i liked the teeth, the night's first openers, a philly punkabilly outfit. they share the style of kickback bands like the m's or blitzen trapper, bands that cop a generational style and infuse it with some contemporary attitude. the teeth weren't wearing suspenders, but they wouldn't have been out of place for their amped-up 50s style rock. i entered during "i love you" (listen to it at their myspace, but believe that it's a ton more zesty live), and definitely started grooving to their sound. this is the kind of music you can take home to meet your mama, and that's no bad thing.

p.s. this is so me.


SoundBitesNYC said...

I was impressed last night. now their biggest problem is all the songs kind of sound alike. but no doubt they played their hearts out. or in one case, their stomach's out.

i was stuck beside a bunch of Sex in the City wannabes who spent the whole show taking pictures... of each other! i have never so wanted to elbow multiple people in the face.

Anonymous said...

looks like it was a sick show. what the hell is their deal? skip chicago and go to seattle? maybe thirteen years ago! wtf!

Yummy said...

I saw you having an insane time down there. I was on the balcony dancing away, but I went down during the Foals and freaked out.

Brilliant show. Nice job singing with Team Robespierre :)

bentrup said...

nicko - chop suey/neumo's/sub pop is sponsoring a free show there - foals is returning for a full u.s. tour after antidotes is released.

yummy - thanks.