Friday, August 9, 2013

The Grownup Noise at The Silverlake Lounge, 8/8/13

The Grownup Noise performing "Strawmen"

The Grownup Noise is one of my favorite bands, and I’m always happy when I get a chance to see them, which isn’t often because they’re based in Boston. I go back east at least once a year, but it doesn’t always work out that they’re playing when I happen to be there (on my last trip, they had a show, but it was the same night I already had tickets to two other concerts). Last night they wrapped up a short west coast tour with a show at The Silverlake Lounge.

First there were three opening acts, two of which were good. The first was Bhavana Reddy, and she and her band created a compelling mix of Indian music and rock. They had a really good guitarist, and some nice backing vocals too.  The second band, Liam Gowing & The Family Jewels, was the only band of the evening that I didn’t care for. Partly it was because the mix was all wrong. The guitars were so fucking loud that the vocals were almost completely lost. Instead of turning the guitars down, they turned the vocals up, which of course didn’t solve the problem. Another thing I disliked was their fans. There were several of those annoying girls that are desperate for attention and so try to act sexy in front of everyone. You know - those sad creatures that probably should be locked away in a basement for a decade or so until they mature or die. (After the band’s set, two of the girls even got up on the stage, striking poses at the microphones while the next band was trying to set up.) But also, the music just wasn’t that good, the worst song being “Drunk Sluts Forever.” Yes, it’s as bad as the title leads you to believe.  The third band, Tijuana Cartel, was from Australia, an interesting mix of some great guitar work, congas and dance beats. Two of their songs were stand-outs, the first and the penultimate numbers, but I don’t know the song titles.

The Grownup Noise took the stage at 11 p.m. They opened with “Strawmen,” the song that kicks off both their EP Shall We and their last full-length CD, This Time With Feeling. And most of their set after that was made up of newer material. I am always excited to hear new things from this band, because this is a group that just gets better and better.

“Come Sunday” included a really good jam. Paul introduced “Everything Out” by calling it “a prayer for over-thinkers.” I admit I may at times be guilty of over-thinking things a bit. In addition to being wonderful songwriters, these guys are darn good musicians, and play a variety of instruments. Paul played banjo on “Astronomy As Therapy,” and Adam moved to keyboard. Then Paul moved to keys for “We Are Tame.”

The set ended with a couple of favorites, the first being the always-fun “Carnival,” from This Time With Feeling. Something about that song always makes me happy. There have been times when I’ve just played that tune over and over. And then they did a phenomenal version of “Outside” (from Shall We?) with a nice long jam at the end.

And then it was over. I’m hoping the next time they come through town they’ll be able to play a much longer set, because it felt like they were just getting started.

Set List

  1. Strawmen
  2. Come Sunday
  3. Everything Out
  4. Astronomy As Therapy
  5. We Are Tame
  6. New Outsiders
  7. Pepper & Shame
  8. Carnival
  9. Outside
The Grownup Noise performing "Astronomy As Therapy"

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