Where: The Masquerade- Atlanta, GA
When: April 24, 2010
Although The Middle East was technically the opening band on Saturday night, I didn’t have the heart to just lump them into my review of Frightened Rabbit. I figured it just wouldn’t be right, especially considering I was a tinge more excited about seeing them than FR. That’s not to say FR isn’t good, but I’ve had a major music crush on The Middle East since I first heard their album last October (so much so that they secured the #18 spot on my Best of 2009 list).
Here’s the delightfully off-beat video for “Blood”.
This was my first concert at Atlanta’s creepiest music scene, The Masquerade, and I hate to say it, but I was underwhelmed by the venue. (And it wasn’t just because I didn’t get to see any ghosts or vampires in the reportedly haunted old mill.) My disappointment mainly lies in my old age. This club, which is open to all ages, must be a social hangout for teenagers in the city who are hoping to guilt an old 25-year old like myself into buying them a beer or something. And because I don’t want to add any more angst to those already raging teenage hormones by supply them alcohol, I generally avoid this kind of scene altogether. In short, the crowd was just annoyingly loud and disrespectful to the bands; and I gather from their endless prattle throughout all three sets, they were not there to hear music.
This was most evident during The Middle East’s far too short set. The band played about 6 songs with little to no dialogue in between. In truth, it probably took them longer to set their equipment up than it did to play all of their songs.
I have no complaints other than the length of their set, though. The 7 (!) member band from Oz, whose beautifully melancholy album The Recordings of the Middle East won me over last year, surprised us all by playing several robust numbers complete with energetic percussion, a bustling trumpet and the often overlooked accordion. But then I guess they would need all of those instruments to keep all 7 band members busy!
I would like to say that you could hear a pin drop when they played “The Darkest Side,” but sadly, as I mentioned before, the crowd seemed less than interested in hearing the music. What I could hear of the song was simply beautiful, with Jordan Ireland and Rohin Jones’ perfect harmonies blending softly with the strumming of the acoustic guitar.
My personal favorite “Blood” started softly and eased its way into the catchy bells and whistles of the latter half of the song. Even with the bleakest of lyrics you couldn’t help but whistle along to the cheery music of the melody.
As for their appearance, this band looked like a rag tag band of misfits, but I loved every minute of their eclecticness. For those of you who know me, I have a fond appreciation for a fully grown beard, and I was not left disappointed by the male members of this band. Bravo gentlemen, bravo.
Here are a couple of videos from the show.
The Darkest Side