Sorry for the delay on getting this posted - it was a busier week and weekend that I expected. This past Wednesday I got a chance to see Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at City Hall, and despite a few technical problems that threatened to derail the show at one point, the band powered through one of the most professional-looking and sounding shows I've seen in quite some time.
As I mentioned in my preview post on Tuesday, I haven't been listening to BRMC for very long; it was really the release of Baby 81 that got my attention, although I had heard some of the band's music prior to that. I didn't even think I was incredibly familiar with the new album, but Wednesday's show proved me wrong - apparently by repeatedly playing the CD in the background at work I became pretty familiar with it, because with each song they played, I felt myself thinking "ooh, I love this one!" And it did seem like the set drew pretty heavily on the new songs, "Not What You Wanted" was absolutely a highlight (being my favorite song on the album), as well as "Weapon of Choice," "Berlin" and "Window." Surprisingly, one of my favorite songs that night was the drawn-out droning rocker "666 Conducer," which I never really enjoyed as much in its recorded state, but a foggy stage drenched in red light and an amp-climbing rock-out moment brought a completely different angle and attitude to the song.
Overall, the show was more of a performance than I'm used to - listening to the type of music I favor and going to the types of shows I attend, I tend to see "new" bands that don't exactly have fog machines and strobes and the attitude that comes with being a bit further down the road of experience and success. And while initially the fake smoke seemed like overkill (the giant warehouse of City Hall was just pumped full of it before the band took the stage), I was of course immediately enthralled by the spectacle of the whole thing. I think I tend to forget that the visual aspect can lend a lot to the experience of a show. A huge piece of it was just how fantastic the band sounded as well - polished and well-practiced and like they've been doing this for a while, and I mean that in the best way possible.
That's why it was a little tough to watch when the band started experiencing technical difficulties - I think when you're on the level that BRMC is, it's a lot harder to laugh off problems, and the frustration of the whole thing was pretty evident. Fortunately the show went on though, with a few apologetic comments from the band and a lot of encouragement from the audience. I had to call it a night during the acoustic part of the show since it was an hour and a half in and drawing close to midnight already, but I hear they didn't stop playing until the curfew was enforced, and I'm sad I couldn't stick around.
And I don't want to forget to mention The Cobbs as well, who opened up the show and played a great set. They hooked me up with a copy of their album, so hopefully you'll be hearing more about them soon.
The phenomenal picture above is courtesy of my friend Jordan Wankel, who did me a huge favor at the show and did my photo pass justice. He will hopefully be uploading his full set of pictures from the show to his Flickr soon; in the meantime, more pictures after the jump.