Death Cab For Cutie
Frightened RabbitEdit this event
- Rock City, Nottingham »
Once the current fad for soulless dance and substanceless noise dies down The Midnight Organ Fight will be rightly regarded as one of the highlights of 2008. It is an album of top-to-bottom quality; of weary tales, singalong (if oft explicit) lyrics and irresistible hooks. Frightened Rabbit's sophomore album was a giant step up from its predecessor Sing The Greys, and the band are making similar progressions live.
'I Feel Better' is still an awkward and questionable opener; sounding tinny and slightly two-dimensional and on the whole devoid of the power it holds on record, but the band soon hit form with 'Old Old Fashioned' and 'The Twist'. Frightened Rabbit are at their strongest here, throwing rough drunken vocal melodies in front of trebly guitars and pounding drums. Some of the intimacy is lost, perhaps also inevitable due to the size of the venue, inside a crowd of non-plussed, though appreciative, Death Cab For Cutie fans, whose main point of comparison for the Scottish four-piece seem to be Biffy Clyro, but the band power through with boundless energy and grit, leaving Death Cab to feel uncomfortably flat.
Despite playing to a sold-out crowd, who clearly know every word, there is a distinct lack of atmosphere and genuine excitement. It feels that the crowd feel they owe the band adulation, not that they command it. The strange curve of the setlist, travelling from the dull/dulcet opening couplet of 'The Employment Pages' and 'Your Heart Is An Empty Room' to more upbeat numbers pays in part to this. After the ramshakle burst of Frightened Rabbit, the Seattle quartet really needed to explode out of the blocks instead of lulling the audience into a daze.
By the time they stumble into the halfway point of their set, squashed shoulder to waist with throngs of 14+s, it is more than tempting to make an exit. Whilst most will go home with Death Cab merchandise and proclaim their love on blogs and status updates, there is nothing offered to warrant devotion or even acclaim.
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