"Remember it was me who dragged you up to the sweaty floor"

Last year Frightened Rabbit (myspace) kind of appeared on my radar from out of nowhere with The Midnight Organ Fight, an album I loved instantly and which landed in my top ten of the year. When I heard they were coming to town I thought I’d better get on it, Ticketmaster service charges be damned.

And so it was that last night Joe, Sheila, Nellie and I went to see them at the Horseshoe, stopping first for dinner at the Adelaide St. Pub…which isn’t quite a pub, but whatever. It’s a decent spot that serves decent beer in the decidedly indecent entertainment district, and such things are not to be taken for granted, especially when they have a decent patio.

We missed the first opener entirely (almost as if we planned it that way) and arrived just as The Antlers (myspace) took the stage. I was actually pretty impressed, enough so that I came home and downloaded their newest album from eMusic. I have to say, though, they’re a band that sounds very different live than they do in the studio. Watching them live I thought they were about 70% Walkmen, 20% Wolf Parade, 5% Jeff Buckley‘s voice and 5% bombast from This Will Destroy You or Explosions In The Sky…certainly a winning combination for yours truly. Listening to their music right now, though, it sounds nothing like that. It’s over-engineered, over produced. The singer’s voice loses all emotion and the drums might as well not even be there. It’s too bad…I really enjoyed their set, and was hoping it would translate off-stage. It’s not bad, mind you, just less impressive than I found them last night.

A few minutes later Frightened Rabbit was up to do their thing, and it was just what everyone wanted. They blasted through just about all the songs on Midnight Organ Fight (except “Floating In The Forth”, dammit) and a few from their debut (“Mu! Sic! Now!”), then came back out for an encore, which was pretty cool: first Scott Hutchinson led a singalong of “Poke” without a mic, and then did a blazing “Keep Yourself Warm” to end the night. They seemed to enjoy it, the crowd loved it. We loved it too. $16 well spent.

A few miscellaneous observations:

  • The bouncer dug my The Suburbs Are Killing Us tshirt.
  • My hearing is just now returning to normal. We were a little close to one of the speakers. They’re no Mogwai, but locations counts for a lot in a place like the ‘Shoe.
  • It seems wrong, somehow, that the Horseshoe would carry Mill Street Organic beer.