Friday, June 12, 2009

Sunset Rubdown @ The Middle East

I honestly don't recall when the last time was that I attended a show at Cambridge's premier rock club, The Middle East, especially on a weeknight. The problem is that the headliner always takes the stage so ridiculously late, and I just don't recover as well the following morning as I used to. The only thing different about last night's Sunset Rubdown performance—their set started at 11:30—was that I didn't have to go to work today, as I'm working my "flex time" summer schedule of four longer days with Fridays off.

Musically, the show was worth the lethargy that I'm feeling today, although admittedly the consumption of four Harpoon IPAs probably had as much to do with that as the fact that the show didn't end until 1am. Surprisingly, for a band whose two most recent albums were among my favorites in their respective years, I recognized a very small percentage of the songs they played. Their soon-to-be-released record, Dragonslayer, was the major emphasis of last night's set, and the new material did not disappoint. Front-man Spencer Krug's manically off-kilter vocals, and his complex but accessible songs that are equal parts arty indie pop and classic rock, translate well to the live setting. Despite the quality of the newer songs, a personal highlight for me was a rousing version of “The Taming of the Hands That Came Back to Life”, from 2007's Random Spirit Lover.

Once again, my not-so-newfound philosophy of picking and choosing my moments when it comes to the club shows was reinforced. This time, I think I chose wisely.

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