Monday, December 14, 2009

The Big Pink Paradise

The Big Pink has been gaining tremendous buzz all year and their debut full length A Brief History of Love has managed to consistently stay on my playlist. Having already been impressed by their studio efforts, I finally got a chance to see what they could do on stage when they visited Boston, MA on December 1, 2009 at the Paradise Rock Club. The UK band did not let fans down as they played their captivating take on shoegaze music. The group had the stage presence of a band on a much higher level. The lighting and rock antics gave the impression that the performance could have also worked in a stadium setting. However, in the Paradise, some of the lights acted more as a blinding nuisance.

The show kicked off in perfect fashion with A Brief History of Love standout "Too Young to Love". The catchy chorus and electronic flourishes perfectly outlined their signature style. The band played several highlights off the aforementioned album, my favorite of which was "Velvet". The passion in lines such as "Seen it in my head/ Burning my heart/ I found her in a dream/ Looking for me/ Doesn't make sense/ To see her again/ I don't know" translated beautifully into the live setting. The song was follow by "Crystal Visions" which found singer/guitarist Robbie Furze ringing out notes on his telecaster before the pulsing bass enveloped the sonic textures of the rest of the band. It worked to give the set list a smooth and entrancing shift. The set came to a close with fan favorite "Dominoes" which is easily one of the best and most memorable singles of 2009. Check out the video of "Crystal Visions" below courtesy of fellow Bostonian C. Van Slyke who is also the photographer of the image above. The set is listed after the video followed by the recently announced dates for their 2010 tour with A Place to Bury Strangers. I saw A Place to Bury Strangers earlier this year and they put on an excellent show. These two bands have very complimentary sounds and would work perfectly on the same bill. Clearly, this is one show not to miss in early 2010.

The Big Pink December 1, 2009 Paradise Rock Club:
1. Too Young to Love
2. Frisk
3. At War with the Sun
4. Velvet
5. Crystal Visions
6. Count Backwards
7. Tonight
8. These Arms
9. Dominoes

The Big Pink & A Place to Bury Strangers - 2010 Tour Dates:
3/10 San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
3/12 Seattle WA Neumos
3/13 Vancouver BC Venue
3/14 Portland OR Doug Fir Lounge
3/18 Minneapolis MN First Avenue & 7th Street Entry
3/19 Milwaukee WI Turner Hall Ballroom
3/20 Chicago IL Metro
3/22 Newport KY Southgate House
3/23 Cleveland OH Grop Shop
3/24 Toronto ON The Mod Club
3/26 Montreal QC Cabaret Du Musee
3/27 Boston MA Paradise Rock Club
3/28 Hoboken NJ Maxwell's
3/30 New York NY Webster Hall
3/31 Philadelphia PA Theatre of the Living Arts
4/01 Baltimore MD Ram's Head Live!
4/02 Carrboro NC Cat's Cradle
4/03 Atlanta GA The Masquerade
4/05 Tallahassee FL Club Downunder
4/07 Houston TX Warehouse Live
4/08 Austin TX The Parish
4/09 Dallas TX Granada Theater
4/10 Lawrence KS The Bottleneck
4/11 Denver CO Bluebird Theater
4/12 Salt Lake City UT Urban Lounge
4/14 Phoenix AZ Rhythm Room
4/15 San Diego CA The Casbah

I walked into the show while opener Crystal Antlers was playing and I hoped I hadn't missed too much since their album Tentacles released earlier in the year was very impressive. Luckily, I caught most of their set including "Andrew" and "Swollen Sky" which are my personal favorites of theirs. Their intriguing mix of classic blues rock and modern noise rock was enhanced by their energetic live show. It was especially entertaining to watch percussionist Damian Edwards punish bongos and a crash with mallets as if he were possessed. Check out "Andrew" below and grab a copy of Tentacles if you like what you hear.

Crystal Antlers - "Andrew"

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