Thursday, February 12, 2009

Concert Review: Titus Andronicus/Los Campesinos!


Having gone since CMJ without a concert, last night's Titus Andronicus/Los Campesinos! show as at the Wexner Center was greatly welcomed. With high expectations for both bands, (especially LC!, my Artist of the Year for 2008) I'm pleased to report I was not disappointed at all.

Openers Titus Andronicus have been on a roll recently, with their debut album The Airing of Grievances getting rereleased. Coming on stage to a monologue presented by a 1960's teen screaming about rock and roll, Titus Andronicus started rocking and never stopped. The howl of lead singer Patrick Stickles was barely decipherable, but it hardly mattered. The band barreled through most of Grievances and let their raucous sound fill the venue, an odd set up where a smaller stage is set up on the big stage of the Mershon Auditorium. The set was also peppered with a cover of the Modern Lovers' "Road Runner" and at one point, they broke down into the classic "Wipeout." This is a band to keep an eye on. They might not reach epic heights, but they seem like they're going to go places.

By the time Los Campesinos! took the stage, the place was packed and ready to go. Drawing equally from their two LPs, Hold on Now Youngster and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, the band never slowed down. LC! is a blast to listen to on their albums, and the energy emitted by the band in concert is contagious. At the start of the show, the hipsters all sort of bopped their heads, but by the time band finished their encore, everyone was exhausted from dancing. The highlight of the show was easily "You! Me! Dancing!," the band's most recognizable track. When guitarist Tom Campesinos! began playing the intro riff to the song, the crowd erupted in applause. When the song broke wide open, the crowd became a mob of dancing, screaming the lyrics back at the band and bopping along. In between tracks, lead singer Gareth Campesinos! entertained with witty banter that rivals that of Jeff Tweedy. Closing their main set with "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks" and doing an encore of "Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats," Los Campesinos! left their crowd dizzy in the after shock of an epic show.

After the show, I had a chance to meet Gareth at the merch table. A super nice guy, he right off the bat noticed my Vivian Girls t-shirt and told me where it might be best to trim the collar. After I told him I'd been to Spillers, a record store in Cardiff, we ended up having a conversation about Bath, the city in England where I studied abroad and he lives. It's always cool to meet a musician you enjoy, but even better when you can actually talk to them.

I must say that this show was one of the best shows I've seen in a while. Not since My Morning Jacket back in October have I rocked this hard. A huge thumbs up to both bands.

Grade: A+

NOTE: My memory card is messed up, so my pictures of the show will be a bit delayed. Check back and hopefully I'll get them up soon.

7 comments:

David Warshauer said...

Great review. Sounds like a terrific show.

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