7/16/2005

so I went to see VHS or Beta yesterday at the Black Cat, and they were amazing. It was easily one the best show I've seen in the past few years, and probably one of the best I've ever seen. I saw them before a couple times and they were always good, but for some reason this was just a great show, every song sounded amazing, and the band and crowd were in tune - it was the most energetic I've ever seen a Black Cat crowd, me included. The band was really impressed too, especially by some of the singalongs (again, a Black Cat rarity), and the lead singer said during the show that they didn't expect the crowd to be anything like it was, mentioning that there was "another concert" was going on, which was the Bravery at the 9:30 Club. I definitely made the right decision though, no matter how good the Bravery were.

I guess you can describe VHS or Beta's sound as dance rock, of if you want to be clever, Robert Smith fronting Daft Punk (versions of which lots of reviews say.) But both are pretty accurate descriptions, they at times have some cool Daft Punkish beats like, and the lead singer sounds a lot like Robert Smith of the Cure, but they're clearly just influenced by them, as they don't sound like they're ripping either band off. A lot of the songs build at the beginning and then break, and most are pretty long but dance trance-inducing. The bass sounds great, and the drummer is really impressive and precide as well, even live he sounds like he could be a drum machine. But an awesome one. Their website has a lot of really good quality sound clips.

The opening act, however, was pretty bizarre. It was Edie Sedgwick, which sounded familiar to me. I looked her up, and apparently she was an actress in a lot of Andy Warhol movies. But the musical act of the same name is a guy in a Warhol wig and a shiny grey dress, half singing and half rapping to some beats. Some of the beats were pretty cool and sounded like the Faint, but the performance as a whole was pretty strange. He'd make a lot of weird statements from the stage, and the music was sort of inspirational maybe? It's hard to say really. He was pretty entertaining though, especially his between song rants, like complaining about the Department of Homeland Security, reading a passage from Bill Clinton's "My Life," and listing off a bunch of acronyms, ending with "the most important - HJO! Meaning Haley Joel Osment." Then a big morphing photo of Haley Joel Osment came on the video screen he was using. It seemed a lot more like performance art than a show (which I guess is the idea), but it was obvious the crowd wasn't into it, and I think he cut his performance short. He showed a lot of other random stuff from TV and movies on the screen, like old commercials and montages from various Arnold Schwarzeneggar movies. Weird stuff.

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