It Ended On An Oily Stage
British Sea Power, with The Rosebuds
Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
Saturday May 3, 2008
First things first. As someone who resides on the bottom end of the average height range, there is nothing worse than standing behind some six foot five guy at a concert. Except maybe standing behind a six foot five guy in a Gumby costume. But at the same time, it's hard to be mad at Gumby dammit (sorry, had to). His jumping and dancing and dragging people up to the front of the stage added a certain joviality that was the perfect accompaniment to The Rosebuds' opening set. The North Carolina based trio played a set of ebullient pop that was a great way to kick things off on a Saturday night.
Seeing British Sea Power at a club like the Mercy Lounge somehow felt like cheating. Everything about the band is big... big songs, big sound, big gestures. It seemed like they should have been playing in a bigger venue to a bigger crowd. Their huge hooks and anthemic choruses almost felt trapped in the Mercy's relatively intimate confines, not that the audience seemed to mind. The Brighton band's music occupies the perfect middle ground between the pub rock of Oasis and the textured experimentalism of Radiohead. The crowd rightfully ate it up, and the band paid them back by taking audience participation to the absolute extreme. During the last song, guitarist Noble jumped into the crowd and took off his guitar, where it was then handed from audience member to audience member for the most drawn out "rock" ending to to a concert I've ever seen. You'd think drawing out the end of a song for ten minutes would get old, but for some reason it never did.
British Sea Power - "Atom" (mp3) from Krankenhaus?
British Sea Power - "No Lucifer" (mp3) from Do You Like Rock Music?
The Rosebuds - "Blue Bird" (mp3) from Birds Make Good Neighbors
photo by Steve Cross, more pics at Nashville Cream