Sunday, September 18, 2011

Foo Fighters @ Scottrade Center

Photo courtesy of Danny Hommes
     A band as big as Foo Fighters typically has two openers so let's get that out of the way first.
     Mariachi El Bronx, the alter-ego of hardcore band The Bronx (it's a little confusing; they're not even from the Bronx, they're from LA), took the stage in their matching black and red mariachi outfits. While at first a little confused, I was pleased to hear their unique sound. They combined mariachi and punk music in a really cool way. Their drummer, a Buddy Holly look-alike, played a cocktail kit that sounded awesome. It was clear that the whole band was having a blast.
     What can I say about Rise Against? The bass player was solid. The singer had a lot of enthusiasm. That's the positive stuff. The drummer was weak. The songs sounded the same. The guitarist can kick his foot above his head and does so at EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY. But, they made the Foos sound better. Gotta give them that.
     The band finally took stage and opened with "Bridges Burning," the first track of their new album. Playing a great mix of old and new songs, the set lasted three hours just as Dave promised. Many of the songs had extended endings and "Stacked Actors" featured a guitar battle between Chris Shiflett and Dave Grohl.
     Emphasizing on the epicness of their rock music, the stage had a platform that extended all the way across the floor of the arena. Have you ever been to Scottrade? It's pretty big. There was also a riser at the opposite end. It doesn't get any bigger than singing lead vocals for a band all the way across a stadium. They also had an awesome light show.
     "Young Man Blues" was covered by Foo Fighters for VH1 Rock Honors The Who in 2008. Since then, they've been playing it at most of their live shows including the one last night. They also led us in Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker's "Breakdown."
     At the beginning of the encore, Dave played a few songs on acoustic before being joined by the rest of the band. Finally, the best possible song to end the night, "Everlong." This is my favorite Foo Fighters song as well as that of many other fans. It has the amazing quality of meaning something great to everyone who hears it even though everyone hears a different meaning. If you enjoy any form of rock, go see Foo Fighters in concert. They're the most accessible great rock band on tour.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sleepy Kitty - Infinity City

St. Louis local music always surprises me. Sometimes it's hard to believe that such good music can be made by people who live so close to me, people I see on the street or in the audience at concerts.
Infinity City starts out with "Gimme A Chantz!," a rocking song to start out with. Paige Brubeck has a great Nilsson-like way of harmonizing with herself that appears throughout the album.
"Seventeen" is a cover of the Beatles' "When I Saw Her Standing There." At six minutes long, it's not quite like the original. It's an intriguing jam of the classic hit.
"NYC Really Has It All" is a conversation with an old friend about how much their hometown has changed since they were young. This is a perfect anthem for reminiscing about your own childhood.
My favorite track, "Dykula," has vocals that remind me of Karen O. Her basic message in the song is clear: I wish I'd never met you. I also like the retro "shoobop's."
Lastly, the vinyl-only eleventh track, "Greetings From Cherokee St USA," is a simple song of piano and beautiful vocals. At certain points it is filled with street noise, presumably recorded from Cherokee Street. It is a beautifully written song about Sleepy Kitty's neighborhood. Like most vinyl-only tracks, it's only available on the vinyl copy, sadly.
Infinity City is out now on Euclid Records. I bet you can pick it up at a certain record store of the same name.