Bad Veins gained at least one new fan last night, although it’s safe to say I was not the only one impressed. It’s been a while since I’ve witnessed a band display that amount of passion toward their art. Between Sebastien Schultz’ frenetic drumming, Benjamin Davis’ head first dive into guitar and vocals and the flawless performance by Irene (their reel-to-reel tape player) the whole set was gripping. The constant playing by Irene left the band little time to talk between songs and it wasn’t until more than halfway through the set that they introduced themselves to the audience. An audience far too small at this point in the night. Anyone that showed up late surely missed out.
All the songs performed came from Bad Vein’s self-titled 2009 album, a release that should have ended up on mine, and many others, Best LP’s of 2009 list. Each song is delicate, chaotic, fuzz rock with Davis using megaphone and telephone receiver as his preferred media for vocals. Irene provided the backing bass (which was exceptionally loud and vibrated my entire body multiple times) brass and any other necessary sounds.
I’m still debating in my head as to whether I felt the show would have been better with someone on keyboard, synthesizer and bass playing the parts that Irene heading up and whether she was more distracting than helpful. I think my final conclusion on that matter is, who cares? It was a great show and just having two band members makes it easier for an audience to get personal with the band.
Frightened Rabbit took the stage at about 10:30 and opened with the song I had hoped they would, that song being “Things”. This particular track is a fantastic opener, with a slow build to a full and embodied sound at the end. From there the band made their way through what could have been released as a Best Of album, “Modern Leper”, Nothing Like You”, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” and “Old Old Fashioned”, etc. They even squeezed in “Be Less Rude” off their debut release Sing The Greys.
Scott Hutchinson took multiple breaks between songs to converse and joke with the crowd. Talking about and apologizing for their previous canceled appearance in Dallas due to volcano Eyjafjallajökul and even asking how the Rangers were doing in the ALCS.
After a lengthy hour and a half set Hutchinson returned to the stage for an encore of the requested “Foot Shooter” and an unplugged, upfront and personal rendition of “Poke” with the audience gladly joining in on all the “oohs”. It was a great way to end a perfect show.