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Earlier | Later

On Wednesday March 25, I went to my first show at the newly-renovated and re-opened Crocodile, featuring my current favorite band, Hotels. Three other bands were on the bill: New Faces, Romance, and the Globes.

The Globes are a quartet (vocals/guitar, guitar/vocals, bass/keyboard, drums) who played a solid set of alternative rock with a bit of an art-rock edge. Somehow they reminded me a bit of the Dismemberment Plan, though overall their sound was more of the Minus the Bear type of rock. They sounded fairly polished and I really liked their set; of the three opening bands, the Globes were the one I'm most interested in seeing again.

Romance are another standard rock quartet with a darker post-punk sound, somewhere between Interpol and classic goth rock. Early in their set, their vocals were very murky, and I found it hard to tell whether that was due to me wearing earplugs, me being too close to the stage (under the speakers), or a deliberate choice by the band. Just as I finished making a note to that effect, the sound guy went onstage to swap a microphone cable while people toward the back of the audience cried for the vocals to be turned up. It was a funny commentary on both the band's style and the club's newness, still working out the kinks. Overall I found Romance to be solid and enjoyable if not inventive or exciting, and I do want to hear more from them.

New Faces are a straightforward rock trio on guitar, bass, and drums; the guitarist sang lead vocals and the other two sang backing vocals. A couple of their songs sounded familiar to me, no doubt from being played on KEXP, and they announced that some of the songs were new ones—one of which the drummer quipped was so new that he didn't think he'd ever played it before, but it sounded just as good as the rest. I didn't find them very exciting at first—like Romance, solid and enjoyable, but just not grabby—but I warmed up to them more by the end and decided they're definitely worth seeing again.

Hotels were their usual energetic selves, and seemed pretty excited to be at the new Crocodile. Perhaps a bit too excited, as I noticed they were tending to rush on several of the songs, but it still all sounded great. I was happy that they played the boppy instrumental "Farewell to Love"—which I think of as their theme music, just because it sounds like a corporate jingle—from their first album Thank You For Choosing..., but for the most part they stuck to the current album Where Hearts Go Broke. As the last band on a four-band concert, they suffered the usual late-night audience attrition, and they almost did not play an encore (due to the late hour), but a particularly vocal fan (besides myself) helped convince them to do a couple more. I have nothing to add besides my continued undying love for Hotels and insistence that you should catch them whenever they play.

The new Crocodile's stage and lighting arrangement pose new challenges for my iPhone, but I did get several decent photos of each band, starting here in Flickr. 

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