Alright, so I missed Clovers, but my excuse was that I was pretty sick this weekend, so it's a minor miracle that I made it out for Free Energy and Foreign Born, but I'm glad I did. I'd heard mention of Free Energy here and there, but this post by Jim Kopeny (I went to law school with his brother) at Chicagoist sold me on getting there in time for their set. I read someone who compared them to Thin Lizzy style 70s guitar pop/rock, and I think that's a pretty good description. They had a bit of their own following, and the crowd in front of the stage was really digging their set. They were definitely worth my time, and a band I'd like to catch if they come back and headline somewhere.
At some point last year, I made a list of bands on my radar that I needed to check out, which includes stuff like the Thermals, Passion Pit, Cymbals Eat Guitars, etc. One of these bands was Dirty Projectors who, as it turns out, made my favorite album of 2009. Another one was Foreign Born, who made my third or fourth favorite album of 2009 (Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear are in the mix as well). I don't know how they got on the list. I literally cannot recall what made me want to listen to these guys, but whatever, it was a good decision.
I saw them live for the first time back in December. I was flying home for the holidays, and was able to push my flight up a day so that I could get home in time to catch them at Spaceland. They put on an excellent show that night, and it was a pretty good crowd. We even ran into Arianna Murray and Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart, a fellow Silverlake band. I had a chance to chat with Matt Popieluch, the front-man and one of the creative forces behind Foreign Born, and was able to tell him how much I enjoyed that last show.
They played an efficient 45-50 minutes or so, playing pretty much the entire first album, minus the final two tracks (See Us Home, and Wait in This Chair). They also played Into Your Dream for their first album, and a song off of their EP, released prior to their first album. Highlights were 'It Grew On You', which they didn't play in LA. They also opened with a great version of Early Warnings, into which they built about a one minute intro. I'm not usually one for audience participation, but I couldn't keep from clapping along at the appropriate point. Vacationing People is always a treat, and Blood Oranges also sounded really good.
You can check the previous post for a couple more vids, but here are live versions of Blood Oranges and Vacationing People. Pics from the show below the vids. First three pics are Foreign Born, last two are Free Energy.