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Earlier | Later

I have a few more concert reports/reviews to do; it's been so long that I'm going to keep them brief, and in most cases I don't have much to say anyhow. However, I'm going to split them up in three posts just so it's easier for me to add them to my master list later on.

The first show is the "John in the Morning at Night" benefit for KEXP, held at Neumos back on Friday May 29. I attended this show as a KEXP volunteer, posting updates to the KEXP Facebook account, so the standard "these are solely my views, not those of KEXP" disclaimer applies. The show's lineup began with Throw Me The Statue, then Iran, U.S.E., and finished with Pela. Again, it's been two months, and I took cursory notes at the time, so I have just a couple quick comments about the bands.

Throw Me The Statue are an indie pop-rock quartet. Their sound was somewhere near Minus The Bear style modern rock, but more on the pop side; the Long Winters or Band of Horses might be better comparisons. They brought along a three-piece horn section to play some songs, and I felt that was a good addition to their music. In general, I thought they were likable, but I wasn't feeling their music very strongly.

Next up was Iran, another quartet but definitely on the heavier side of rock than Throw Me The Statue. They weren't quite metal; they focused on melody and good songs rather than noise, which I liked, but I still wasn't really sure they were my thing. They actually had a few softer ballads, but for the most part seemed to come out of the '90s heavy modern rock sound.

In radical contrast was the high-energy synthpop dance party that is the seven-member United State of Electronica (U.S.E.). They don't have a lot of substance lyrically: pretty much everything's about dancing and music and fun and love and Seattle. But they were very solid musically, with strong dance beats, big hooks, and sweet female vocals. As with a lot called synthpop, they actually had strong guitar and bass parts too. U.S.E. are pure summer dance pop, something Seattle needs year-round, and they're very good at it. Toward the end of their set they broke into an impromptu instrumental jam when a keyboard problem cropped up, and managed to fix the problem in time for one last song. Their whole set was really fun stuff, and I'm (still) looking forward to picking up their new album.

As it was Friday night and a KEXP benefit, KEXP DJ Michele Myers was spinning the tunes in between the sets. She really showed her stuff at this point, segueing from U.S.E. into the Cure's "Just Like Heaven", then Ghostland Observatory's "Sad Sad City", and then Daft Punk's "Burnin'/Too Long" (from Alive 2007). It was a great transition and just the sort of thing that DJ Michele pulls off all the time.

Headliners Pela are yet another energetic indie rock quartet. They had good catchy songs, very tuneful, and I liked them but again didn't feel very enthusiastic about them. Their "only have time for one more" three-song encore included a cover of "Guns of Brixton", which I liked. There's no disputing that they're a solid band and put on a pretty good show, a satisfactory conclusion to the evening.

I have a small set of photos here in Flickr.

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