RSL,leaderboard

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Architecture & Applause - Yeah. What were you doing Tuesday night?

Last night's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Architecture in Helsinki show at the Avalon was simply magical. It was better than expected and my expectations were pretty high!
.
By all estimates, the Avalon Boston was filled to almost capacity (approximately 1,000 - *sorry couldn't find the actual figure and estimates vary from 750 to 1,200 *)

The show opened with Takka Takka.
Sorry. Not much to say.
Not bad at all - just not great. Only got three songs in.
No comment.

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI


.
Wow. AIH isn't just a band. It's a sonic movement or collective.
.
It's like an fun performance of the Blue Man group without the "Blue." Think I'm exaggerating? I would have too before last night. The band (six members appeared on stage Tuesday - I believe there are as many as eight in all) sounds like a mish-mash of some of my other favorite band's sounds... Case in point: David Byrne (post Talking Heads DB) and Wolf Parade and Beck and Big Audio Dynamite II and throw in some World Beat African music - maybe with Paul Simon.

The exchange of instruments on stage is quite impressive. Just about everybody in Helsinki plays each instrument. (The set is filled with instruments leaning every which way - like a disorganized junior high school bandroom closet! I loved it when the trombone appeared from nowhere.) The guitars, drums and keyboards were traded like baseball cards on a Maine summer vacation.) Seriously fun stuff kids. Kind of surprised not to get in on this band sooner. Normally I am right on top of this stuff.
More Architecture in Helsinki:
AIH on Wikipedia (the informative everything) + AIH MySpace - Be the band's friend.


CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH


Remarkable.

I was told by several friends, all of whom are "in the know" that CYHSY can "only let you down," since they can't play live as well as they sound on CD. Tuesday night proved the doubters wrong and the winners (besides me and the 900+ other people at the show last night) are the concert-goers attending the rest of the band's concerts on this tour.

The bottom line: The band is actually as good as their CD sounds these days and that's unbelievably awesome.


The only fair criticism the band has received over the last 500-some days as they have toured three continents is that they never seem to sound as good live as they do on their maniacal debut albums. Those early days are gone and that criticism is over and done with.

Not even a busted keyboard could slow the band down. They played one of their "new" songs while stage techs worked furiously to get things going again. By the time the Korg was up and running again, it was time for a keyboard-essential tracks like Gimme Some Salt.

The best parts of the show? Sprinkled like chocolate and rainbow candies atop an sundae made from the sweetest ice cream. "Over and Over Again" + "Details of the War" + "By the Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" + "Satan Said Dance" (best version I have ever heard yet) + "Heavy Metal" (the finale) really stand out....

The band is having fun on stage these days and they are more than happy to involve the audience. Their next to last song was the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed. It didn't sound like the Stones. It sounded like something new. One last example of the fun that was had at the Avalon on Tuesday: Just prior to the end of the regular set (prior to the encore,) the band hit a low. Having played up to an adoring crowd in this packed Boston venue, they stepped out and played "Clap Your Hands!" It's the carnival-sounding opening song to their album. Enchanted, the crowd - all of the crowd joined in!

Weird, maniacal and fun...

2 comments:

March to the Sea said...

nice! Glad you had fun..sounds like they lived up to it!!

Ryan of the RSL blog said...

They sure did. I went in expecting the whole thing to be middle of the road. Boy, was CYHSY are so tight now. They really have grown into their sound. Architecture in Helsinki were amazing too. I was thoroughly shocked. I thought they would just be a throw-in on the night, but they really shined!