Monday, October 24, 2005

New Pornographers w/ Destroyer and Immaculate Machine @ the Metro; October 20, 2005

I've seen NP once before at the Metro, and I've seen AC Newman a couple of times, and I've never come away disappointed, so naturally I was looking forward to this show. But the real excitement came a couple of months ago when the show was anounced and I learned that they'd be playing with Dan Bejar's Destroyer, a great band in its own right. But more importantly, it meant that Bejar would actually be in tow to sing his NP tunes, a real rarity.

Immaculate Machine kicked the show off. This is Kathryn Calder's band, who is also known as AC Newman's long lost niece. She's also easy on the eyes. Anyway, it was Thursday night, a three act show, and I'm not getting any younger, so we hung out next door at the Ginger Man during most of their set before getting there for the last couple of songs. Good enough to make me want to listen to some more to form a better opinion. But man oh man, you could tell this was going to be a big crowd. I've been to sold out shows at the Metro before, but I don't think I've ever been to one that almost completely packed during the set of the first of two opening acts.

Destroyer was next and put on what I thought was an excellent and fan friendly set. There's plenty of fan unfriendly stuff that Bejar could have selected, but he kept it pretty upbeat, playing most of the songs I wanted to hear, which come almost exclusively from "Streethawk: A Seduction". They played Streethawk, Beggars Might Ride, The Sublimation Hour, and The Very Modern Dance. The only thing I really wanted to hear that they skipped was Hey Snow White. Can't complain.

About 15 minutes after their set ended, the headliners took the stage, and they didn't disappoint. What follows in an Incomplete and Out of Order Setlist®
  • Electric Version
  • From Blown Speakers
  • The Laws Have Changed
  • All For Swinging You Around
  • Testament to Youth in Verse
  • End of Medicine*
  • Chump Change*
  • Twin Cinema
  • Use It
  • Bleeding Heart Show
  • Jackie, Dressed in Cobras
  • These are the Fables
  • Sing Me Spanish Techno
  • Falling Through Your Clothes
  • Streets of Fire
  • Mass Romantic
  • The Fake Headlines
  • Slow Decent into Alcoholism*
  • Jackie
  • Letter From an Occupant
  • Body Says No
  • Graceland (from the Matador at 15 CD)
*Actually, I'm can't remember if they played these, or if I've just listened to them so many times that I can't tell the difference. I figure they played at least two of the three. I'm almost positive they played Chump Change, though.

As was typical of an AC Newman performance, there was a fairly regular banter with the crowd, dominated mostly by Newman and Neko Case, who looked good as ever. Bejar sauntered out, beer in hand each time, to sing his tunes sans guitar. It was definitely a hilight. Let's face it, I have a feeling that we'll be lucky to see Neko still playing live with these guys in a few years, so the chance to see the full band with Bejar was a definite plus. The set was nice and long, although on the clock, they really didn't play that long. Blown Speakers was probably the only real "request" that they played, and for all I know, that was up next on the setlist anyway. Newman had a chuckle with a fan whom I can only assume requested "Letter From an Occupant". He pointed out that "there are some songs that are just givens". I remember seeing a brief interview on MTV with Mary's Danish once where the guitar player sort of joked about how boring it gets to play "Don't Crash the Car Tonight" every single night, but hey, a band's gotta pay the bills.

So anyway, great show, can't wait to see them again, but I'm a little pissed off to hear that they'll be playing the Metro again on New Year's eve. Don't they know that some of go home over the holidays to spend some time in the warm sunshine? One of these years I'll actually have to stick around Chicago for New Year's.


Rob said...

Wow. There's something about Calder's eyes that reminds me a lot of David Byrne, back before he got very old and long after he became a pretentious ass devoid of any musical ideas.

Sorry, just a little bitter there. Brian Eno was the real genius behind the Talking Heads, and sometimes things come out in a collaboration that just don't work from a solo artist.

Rob said...

And yeah, she's plenty hot.

Pinko Punko said...

You got "Falling Through Your Clothes"/"The End of Medicine" we got "Bones of an Idol"/"Broken Beads"

I think neither of us got "The NEw Face of Zero and One"- so not quite perfect either night, but damn close.

I liked IM's set closer- was it "Your So Cynical" for you?

Seitz said...

I can't remember. It was something I was unfamiliar with, so there's usually no way I remember that stuff.

I wanted Ballad of the Comeback Kid, but didn't get that. That might be my favorite NP song.

I'm not completely sure we got End of Medicine. I'm like 90% sure. And Falling Through Your Clothes, well, it's not my favorite song.