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Architecture In Helsinki at the Troubadour 11/07/07

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Architecture In Helsinki harness a preternatural exuberance that no other band carries. Perhaps it's due, in large part, to the fact that they're headquartered in the land down under. I'd like to think so. Whichever the case may be, their band bio sums their presence up best: "Like a giant Voltron robot uniting at the sunset."

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I arrived at the Troubadour on Wednesday just in time for Nike "Dunk"-laden AIH to take stage. They were unbelievably adorable from the start and their effervescent jams hadn't even begun to dance their way into our ears (and hearts). AIH proceeded to hammer their way through a set comprised of half old (In Case We Die), half new (Places Like This) material. The packed house was filled with fans, but it was the same old equation: die-hards dancers in the front dressed in colored hipster shawls, cross-armed enthusiasts behind them, and so on and so forth.

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No other band of Aussies pound out such masterfully crafted, vibrant jigs. They literally exude a plethora of wondrous colors by means of music. Watching the eight-piece constantly switch around from instrument to instrument made me realize the tremendously versatile foundation this band was built upon. Every member serves a brilliant purpose in the grandeur of their Architecture. Sorry, I just had to. Needless to say, they managed to make me smile through their entire set despite my cold-induced state.

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Front man Cameron Bird was overwhelmingly entertaining. He's got this quirky sense of humor that entails utmost ridiculousness. Bird kept prodding the crowd on, continually engaging them by means of shoving the microphone in their face. He would proceed to inquire, "How do you think the show is going?" I laughed aloud, making a complete spectacle of myself, while others merely smiled out of complete misunderstanding.

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What isn't funny about a front man directly inquiring into whether or not his band's show is being well-received? I've noticed this gauche relationship between artist and fan developing amidst the LA scene for some time. A sort of inanimate house party without the keg, the conversations, and general sociability. Over time, this insurmountable plexi-glass wall is erected between both parties, sucking all the possible synergy out of the situation. Viewers view and performer perform. Nothing more and nothing less.

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Well snap out of it LA. Get into it! Dance...live...let loose! Grant the land down under an appropriate response.