Saturday, October 2, 2010

Matador @ 21:: Day 1 Recap

Echos Myron with F'd Up's Damian Abraham

Day 2, Post 2
Rest assured, Dear Reader (s?), we are alive and mostly-well. Apologies for the late post. I am up and about and feeling "better" @ 10:45 am local time. Pavement played what was basically a full set, which ended at the east coast equivalent of 4:30 am. So we are sorry to report that we did not catch the F’d up-Ted Leo contest, or anyone else who played in the Palms Ballroom earlier this am. If it's any consolation to the F’d Up fans, I did meet Damian Abraham, (whom I found to be very nice, and even respectful- calling me “Sir”, but maybe I’m just old).

I promise to post again later this am (from my hand held, so expect even more grammatical and spelling errors) but here is a quick rundown of last night’s performers: Chavez- First a funny story, I recall being mildly surprised that my buddy, The Gamester (yes, his real name) was earnestly excited about catching these guys. Coming back to the room for a post-show beer, we discovered that he had confused them for the UK based, Traffic revivalists Gomez! Hysterical. Needless to say, the bands are very different. With Guitar Wolf stuck in an airport somewhere (I guess Mother Nature really does not like them), Chavez kicked-off the weekend Top Pocket Man, and with a tight set of siren-guitar Rock. My crew,Jum and Gamester liked them a lot, though they were a little critical of Matt Sweeney’s vocals, which I never realized a pretty back in the mix. James Lo is one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen (sort of Keith Moon-ish, lots of fills) and Clay Taver should trademark his melodic, siren -like leads he has been creating since his Bullet LaVolta days.

F’d Up- we missed the first song, which I suspect was the awesome “Son of the Father”, but caught the rest of their, as expected powerful set. “Mr” Damian/Pink Eyes sang the next three songs (“Days of Last” was in there) from the floor of the Palms, hugging all comers, with what had to be the longest microphone cord ever deployed. His voice can be tough on newcomers, but the band, with their three-guitar attack, created a wall of melodic noise that was well received by the capacity crowd on the Palms floor. Abraham made a comment about being the youngest band on the bill that was telling. These guys, though firmly ‘hardcore’ are arguably the most viable band on the current Matador Roster, having won the 2009 Polaris Music Prize, and recently,  the opening spot on Arcade Fire’s upcoming European tour.

Sonic Youth- Probably the best set of the night. We moved down on the floor for the rest of the night, and were blown away by these guys. As expected, they ran through tracks that were not hooky or melodic enough for this author to reach for at home, but were awesome live. The set drew largely from material released prior to 95',none of which was released by Matador. So lots of Evol, Sister, and Daydream Nation. Throughout the night, Thurston and Lee Ronaldo, exchanged SY’s signature angular guitar leads, culminating with an actual set ending sword fight.

Pavement- A bit disappointing. What has been so great about the reunion shows, an earnest interest by SM, was clearly missing. On the plus side, the younger set was able to see what Pavement shows could be like (shambling, antagonistic) the first time around. I am running out of time (the boys want to go out) so, more on Pavement later, but as Gamester said last night, it felt we were watching the band break up all over again right in front of our eyes. SM was clearing playing out the sting, his last obligation in the year long reunion. More on what has to be the last Pavement show ever later.

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