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Arts and Entertainment

Bloc Party and Menomena @ The Hollywood Palladium, 4/15/09

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Photo by Sandra Vahtel/LAist

Hailing from the great Northwest, experimental indie rockers Menomena took the stage before a sold out crowd at the Palladium on Wednesday in support of their latest album Friend and Foe. Having never seen these guys before, I was really excited to see whether or not they could pull off their famed experimental hooks on stage. This band has made their name by writing albums of chaotic creativity. Therefore, I thought, surely even if the music was bad it wouldn't be dull.

I was mistaken. The resulting performance was a real disappointment. The giant organ muffled their otherworldly harmonies, the drummer kept a fabulously tepid tempo on the skins, and I could have sworn that the lead singer fell a sleep a number of times at the microphone. The ennui rippled through the crowd, and people began side conversations which further destroyed the sound. With the exception of one young couple, who thought the melody was worthy of a tango through the crowd, most people just turned around and headed back to the bar. The last number contained a saxophone solo that would have only been appropriate at a funeral. Now I don't know if they had taken too many Valium or hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before, but it seemed like only a great bolt of electricity could get these guys going. Unfortunately lightning refused to strike inside the Palladium, and I had left my taser at home.