Saturday, June 18, 2005

Sam Champion, The Helio Sequence & The Rogue Wave @ Bowery Ballroom 06/17/05

I noticed two new things about bowery ballroom last night, one being that if you are outside and you look up at the tippy-top of the building there is an engraving about the place being a shoe factory. The other was that lots of bands put up thier stickers in the bathroom on the panels that seperate the urinals, and i realized you cant look at the stickers without the guy next to you thinking your looking at his pud. It was just another night that proved bowery is the best place to play in nyc.

I met this kid noah like 2 years ago and he tells me i should go check out his band, and i tried a few times but to no avail, until last night. Sam Champion is a great band, they are really tight. They play songs like they are pavement, but sometimes they are way heavier than that and sometimes they have more of a strokes-style sound. they opened the show and i turned around towards the end of thier set and the venue was already pretty full. They deserved it they had a really great stage presence, lots of rocking out and the lead guitarist has a hollow body with a picture of don cheadle on it and to plug it in you have to put the cable into his neckhole, thats style right there, and thier drummer looks like eric foreman. These guys play nyc all the time and dont make the mistake i did, and go see them now.

I have been listening to The Helio Sequence's love and distance pretty steadily for 9 months or so it is a really great record and i still could never grasp how they were drums and guitar duo with so much going on in thier songs, but they proved how last night, and boy did they prove it. They are the best live duo i have seen since dfa1979, they could be better. The drummer is fucking amazing and the guitarist singer has a lot of stage presence, all kinds of effects on those drums, a lab top for all the background sequencing and even some harmonica action for that first track off the record, i cant say enough about this act live, they are just a heavy rock sound with all kinds of spacy sound effects to add this like ethereal texture to the songs, fred armisen was there to tape thier set, what up with that. This was the main event of the night as far as i was concerned.

The Rogue Wave is quality music, it is shinsy at times more death cab-esque at other times, sometimes it get so heavy it blows those two off the map. It took me a while to come around to thier live show last night, due to the opening bands being so rockin. They started off very light with a more singer songwriter with a band feel, but it creeped its way to rocking slowly but surely and by the end it wouldve made a noise rock band prowd. They played most of the first record and this excellent new song where they all switched instruments, it was good stuff, im glad the set got better, and near the end they brought the helio sequence up with them to play that song about the wrecking ball, that was excellent, it turned into a !!! style jam, and thier encore swelled to perfection.

i actually got a lot of awesome photos that night, check em all out


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