Monday, August 10, 2009

The Raveonettes w/ Living Things @ the Empty Bottle - 8/8/09

In the very early days of this blog, when I was still sort of experimenting, I wrote a short post about a band that I was going to be seeing in the near future. They were the headliner in a three act bill, and I was really only going because I wanted to see the second act, Autolux (who were, quite frankly, a bit disappointing). When I wrote that post, I was not sold on what I'd heard from the headliner. But at that show, I fell in love with the Raveonettes, and four years later, they keep getting better.

I saw the Raveonettes for the third time on Saturday night, the day before their set at Lollapalooza. And for the third time, they put on a terrific show. It helps that their music translates very well to a live setting. Drenched in feedback and distortion, they don't rely on slick production. This works for two reasons: First, it's much easier to replicate stuff in person that already sounds fuzzy to begin with; Second, that sort of sound, when played very loud, really envelopes the audience, and it's just not a feeling you can get via conventional media players. You're just drowning in it.

The Raveonettes are getting set to release their fifth album (if you consider Whip It On a proper album), and while their sound hasn't changed all that much, they've really gotten good at focusing on their strengths. Their lyrics are a little darker, but their sound is still bright, poppy, and laden with hooks. When I wrote that initial post, I described them as a sort of Buddy Holly as played by the Jesus and Mary Chain. They still fit that description, and it still sounds great, although their obvious affection for other acts of the period, like the Ronettes, is pretty evident as well (they even recorded a track with Ronnie Spector on their third album).

As for Sunday night, they were test driving some of the new tracks, which you can track down if you're so inclined. 'Suicide' is the one they played that I knew. But they hit the old stuff as well, dusting off Attack of the Ghost Riders from Whip It On. The rest of the set included (but was not limited to):
  • That Great Love Sound (encore)
  • Let's Rave On
  • Aly Walk With Me
  • Hallucinations
  • Dead Sound
  • Love in a Trashcan
  • Red Tan
  • Here Comes Mary
  • Twilight (encore)
They played for about an 1:15 or so, which is set-length I can live with, even if there are a couple songs that they left out that I wanted to hear, like Noisy Summer and You Say You Lie. Noisy Summer is one of those songs that I was lukewarm on until I heard it live, at which point it really clicked, and has since become a favorite. Someone made a video for it, so I've posted it below. It's a great example of a song that sounds so innocent that you barely realize how abosolutely drenched in feedback it is. But once you realize it, it makes the song even better. Twilight was, again, a major highlight.

Noisy Summer


Dead Sound

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