So, I went to The Roxy last night for an anticipated night of synthy singer pop – headlined by the British sensation (and new Elektra artist) Little Boots.
I got there early enough to catch both openers, the first being Yes Giantess. Hailing from Boston, this triple synth/keys quartet (there is also a drummer) played catchy, danceable, 80s anthem influenced potential anthems. While the crowd was not huge as they ran through their forty minute set, the people who were there certainly enjoyed themselves. The singer’s voice, while not the voice of Little Boots or the front woman for Music Go Music, carries the songs well – and he was animated on stage. On the singers right and left were other band members rocking out on keys and synth, one of whom was rocking an awesome Cleveland Indians hat and I subsequently found out grew up in Chagrin Falls, OH….a few neighborhoods away from my hometown.
Speaking with the band afterwards, who now reside in Boston, MA, they seem genuinely excited about the prospects for their future. They’d just played Chicago the night before, were shooting up to San Fran the next day, and then heading to Europe for a serious serious tour. Searching for their music online this morning, I stumbled across this awesome link – http://neongoldrecords.blogspot.com/2009/06/mixtape.html where you can download a 60 minute mixtape of theirs for free. I haven’t given it a full listen, but free music is free music…
The next band to follow was Music Go Music, or as I sometimes dyslexic-ally refer to them as Go Music Go. That group has a lot going on on stage – especially because they have so many people. The singers voice is big and carries well, but I can’t say that I loved her because her stage presence I found more irritating than charming. She moved her arms really flamboyantly, kind of like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which drew my attention toward her far too frequently. While I didn’t like her flamboyance or unique look (especially her ugly ass vest), the heavily gay crowd really didn’t seem to mind her stage antics. What I found myself enjoying was not the singer, but the drummer – who played a relatively small kit (5-7 pieces). He was great and versatile – which kind of fits the band as I felt that they did not really have a defined sound. They waxed and waned from indie-upbeat music to music that had flavors of hippie and jam rock to ballad type songs. Since I have not listened to their recordings, this may just be their way of making their performance more interesting. However, assuming that their recordings are similar to their live performance, I’d say this band is still finding their niche.
After MGM, it was a considerable wait until Little Boots finally went on. She opened the show with her danceable hit, “Meddle” which caused an eruption in the crowd that had grown considerably from the end of MGM’s set. Sitting in what appeared to be a packed house, I felt very fortunate to be in a seat in VIP rather than on the dance floor. I had a great view of the stage as well as the entertaining crowd. She continued to rifle through much of the music on her album (that is not yet released in the states) and had the good sense of humor to joke with the crowd that despite her record not being available, it appeared that the whole crowd already knew the songs. Personally, I thought it was very nice and refreshing to see an artist, especially a major label one, embracing the piracy rather than getting upset about it. Along with Boots was her drummer (exceptional) and synth player (also great).
At precisely midnight, as she began a new song, part of her stage light show started flashing Jewish Stars/Stars of David. While this very well could be in everyone of her performances, I thought it was really cool because last night just happened to be Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year. Although you begin worship at sundown, technically I think the New Year doesn’t begin until midnight. If Boots is going into that level of detail for her stage set-up, than I am even more excited to see her again.
Not only was the stage lighting cool, but Boots’ outfit rocked. She wore some white celled looking dress that had shoulder pads (a la David Byrne, stop making sense). Boots’ looked totally hip and her sexy white outfit was a great contrast to her synth players graphic wolf t-shirt (which I want). To top it off, for her encore, Boots changed into some shaggy looking dress that kind of reminded me of the hair on a Komondor.
All in all, Boots delivered a stellar 55 minute set plus a two song encore. My only disappointment was that she did not do her cover of the Virgins that she re-genderized and called “Rich Boys.” I look forward to seeing her again next time she comes around…