Art Brut + Reptar at BMH

Photographs by Emma Dessau
Live Review by Nick Parker

We Take You There...
Brighton Music Hall
Boston, MA - 06/20/11

It seems like RSL has been shadowing Art Brut on their current tour. We were there to catch their NXNE show in Toronto last week, and on Monday they joined us in Boston, at the Brighton Music Hall, with support from Georgia's Reptar.

Given that I've seen Art Brut before, Reptar were a surprisingly different band to choose for their support slot. Though full of energy like the bigger band, Raptor played more complex music, with elements like a second percussionist and more than one keyboard to augment their guitar sound, filling the stage with equipment to the point where they could hardly move themselves. Their sound has won them spots on the Governer's Ball festival and Lollapalooza this year. Once they got down to playing it wasn't hard to hear some similarities in the subtle humor of Reptar's music.

Once Art Brut took the stage, the jokes came think and fast. Near the start of the show, singer Eddie Argos told us with a wry smile that the venue was full, despite the ample amount of space around each of us: "It's a fire code issue," he announced. "The venue is actually at capacity. There is a line of people outside trying to get in! If you're writing about the show, please make sure you mention that." [I hope this counts, Eddie] Despite the numerous witticisms, we were left with the impression that Argos was disappointed with the turn out. It was a pity because playing a show on the Monday night in Boston, during the summer, was always going to be difficult.

To his credit though, Argos was more than capable of keep us engaged throughout the gig. "Modern Art," one of Art Brut's best known songs, was played with a several minute interlude in which Argos had the audience kneeling down with him on the floor of the BMH, readying ourselves to jump up and shout with him that "Modern Art/ Makes Me/ Want to Rock Out!"


It wasn't all about Argos' improv' though. The band were still as vigorously energetic as ever. What all the band members share is a clear awareness that they are here to entertain us. No overly sincere, overly solemn moments in this set (even when Argos was singer about topics like impotence!). Art Brut consistently make you laugh, and make you move.

Art Brut
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