After seeing The Airborne Toxic Event several months back at the Echo and writing this post, we received some "hate comments" in the comments about this band (ok, so hate comments is a bit bold, but we rarely get comments, so we can take some liberties here). I really liked them when I saw them at the Echo but wanted to see them again with the criticism in mind. I was also incredibly excited to see Radars to the Sky, who I have been dying to see for some time, and the Happy Hollows, who I have never seen play a full set.
So, everything thats being said (negatively) about this band, that they are fabricated, that they know what it takes to make a great indie band and are playing to our indie hearts, that they have been given pointers about their stage show, etc. They might be true. I don't know. I am not here to be an investigative reporter. I am here to say that knowing what I know and reading the criticism of the band, I still loved their set, sang along to them and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I can see why people hate the band. They're really great and most indie snobs hate great things. They seemingly came out of nowhere looking and acting like a full formed band. I had a moment last night in the balcony, watching their set, that the band just seemed way to big for the Troubadour. I felt like I won some radio contest to see this big band play a small venue. That's a weird feeling to get from an unsigned band with just one tour under their belt. I think that's where a lot of the anger comes from. On the other hand, I did catch myself saying, oh, I can see that, a few times. They definitely do a lot of things that seem a bit forced. There is a lot of what seem to be choreographed moves on stage and I could have done without the anti-war rant towards the end of the set. In the end though, the crowd loved it, the band had a great time, so does it really matter?
Radars to the Sky opened the set up to a crowd of mostly band families, parents and friends, but hopefully they won over some new fans too. I have written about them before and have been playing "Long Walk Home" for months, but this was actually the first time I have seen them live. Their live show is incredibly strong and Andrew, the lead singer, has an incredible stage presence that makes the band a joy to watch. I am looking forward to seeing more of these guys (I assume they might be taking a maternity break soon, but I could be wrong).