August 8th, 2008

August 2008 concert 1: Film School at Sunset Tavern

Last Friday I finally got to see Film School, who played at the Sunset Tavern. I've been meaning to catch them for a while now but had unfortunately missed a few opportunities, so despite feeling tired I made the effort to get out to the club and once again found that my saying is true, "It's always the right decision to go to the show." Opening for Film School was Blue Skies for Black Hearts and The Purrs.

Blue Skies for Black Hearts are a typical rock quartet of two guitars, bass, and drums. Given their name and that they were opening for Film School, I was expecting their style to be goth/shoegaze. I arrived pretty late to the show and came in to discover they seemed to be just an ordinary indie blues-rock band. I didn't hear anything remarkable, but as I missed most of their set I really can't say too much more about them.

I first saw The Purrs a little over a month ago in June, and at the time I felt that their music was pleasant but uninspiring. At this show however, I found that their music is growing on me. It ranges from moody, shoegazer-y songs such as "Disconnected" and "Taste of Monday", to the brighter pop rock of "She's Got Chemicals" and "Miles Away" (which I was disappointed that they didn't play). Although The Purrs rarely seem inspiring, they do seem to be dependable for solid and enjoyable rock, and I think next time I catch them I'm going to pick up one of their albums.

Film School are a quintet led by Greg Bertens (vocals/guitar), with Dave Dupuis (guitar), Lorelei Plotczyk (bass), Jason Ruck (keyboard/synth), and James Smith (drums). They played a solid set of classic shoegazer rock. I don't actually have much to say about it, I just drank in the swirling guitars with a grin on my face. They did do an awesome version of "11:11", the single from their previous, self-titled album which first caught my attention. Although the vocals did seem a bit weak live, they made up for it with an extended opening that began with a beatless wash of soaring guitar sounds, eventually bringing in the opening drum rhythm. It'd be easy to compare Film School with a band such as My Bloody Valentine and say well, they're doing nothing new. But you don't have to be innovative to be good, and Film School are quite good. I'm glad I finally got to see them and I look forward to their next show.

I know I just recently went over the list of upcoming shows, but I'm excited about them so I'm going to run through it again: