Even though tUnE-yArDs has passed through our fine city three times before, this evening marked her first as the headliner and a sell-out crowd packed into Off Broadway to help celebrate the occasion.
Before last night, I was completely unfamiliar with Pat Jordache, along with his bass and ponytail, only afterwards learning of his time in the now-defunct Sister Suvi with Garbus. With a nice utilization of two drummers, Jordache and his three bandmates (all given the Jordache surname Ramones-style), showcased some energetic pop with a dark streak (mostly attributable to Jordache’s low vocals).
By the time Merrill Garbus took the stage with her backing musicians, the crowd suffocatingly packed in and ready to party along to her lo-fi/R&B/tribal/weird songs and the face-painted, humongous earring-wearing one-woman army was ready to deliver. Two songs in, she unleashed “Gangsta” and it felt like the venue floor could legitimately collapse under all the dancing and bobbing. Watching tUnE-yArDs at work was fascinating to me, where the components presented didn’t always make sense at first (an isolated tap on the drums, a strange vocal line) but eventually combined to reveal the familiar melodies. Yet it was all created in a way that felt magical and effortless, rather than cold and calculated. The lesson was to be patient and just trust the lady rocking the face paint.
-Kind of bummed with the lack of face painted attendees.
-Concert etiquette gripe: If you want or need get close to the stage for the headliner, do us all a favor and earn it by getting to the venue earlier. Just don’t try and weasel your way in front of others who have put in their time to get there.
–w h o k i l l is pretty much a lock to be in my Top 10 albums of 2011.
-Got into a comic discussion with Annie from IWTAS after the show. She recommended Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve. I recommended Scott Snyder’s American Vampire and Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man and Essex County.