Bloc Party/Broken Social Scene/ Mew @ The Greek Theater
Set right in the middle of Griffith Park, the Greek Theater is one of LA's best venues. The audience is surrounded by beautiful trees typical LA inhabitants don't get to see enough of, the sound and lighting is great, and there isn't a bad seat in the house. And although 5,000 fans forced into assigned seating may not be the preferable arena to watch three bands that either make you wanna shake your hips and do that little indie rock dance, the seating arrangement didn't seem to make a difference at all last night.
Slowly gaining more and more popularity in the US, Mew, hailing from Denmark, has been around for a few years, and promptly opened the show. Originally released in the UK last year, And the Glass Handed Kites was just released in America by Sony last week; from what I saw during their live show, the album is definitely worth checking out. Not even 20 years old, lead singer Jonas Bjerre has a voice that almost sounds inhuman. Sometimes dark sounding, sometimes sweet, Mew whirled in and out of psychedelia and mathematical intricacies; it's just a bummer that more people weren't around to see them.
Next, Canada's darling collective, Broken Social Scene. Although their three full length albums are each pretty amazing in their own way, seeing them live outdoes anything they've recorded. Ranging from four to ten members playing at a time, their show is a jumble of instruments; sometimes there are two drummers, sometimes there are 3 trumpets, sometimes there's a violin, trombones, tambourines, random percussion and spontaneous vocals. What has the potential to sound incredibly messy and cluttered sounds like beautiful chaos. Unofficially lead by singer and guitarist Kevin Drew, the band had really positive energy surrounding them; you could tell they just loved playing music for people; the energy was definitely contagious, and by the end of their set, the audience seemed to be won over.
Last year, Bloc Party's Silent Alarm was hailed as one of the best albums of 2005 by critics and fans alike. They've only released one full length so far (with another one soon on the way), and are not only able to pack a 5,000 capacity theater, but can also convince every single audience member to dance, clap, and sing along through their entire set. Even by just playing the first few notes of 2005's hit "Banquet," the crowd was already down for a dance party. They followed it up with more Silent Alarm tracks including "Blue Light", "This Modern Love" and "Like Eating Glass," along with some new ones, but the best point of the show by far was during their encore; about a hundred fans rushed the stage, adding to the band's already high level of energy.
A vastly different experience from watching Broken Social Scene, Bloc Party's four members had comparitively less movement and raw emotion, but still played tight, danceable anthems, capturing the audience in a different way. Nevertheless, the night was complete with the three bands making up one fully satisfying night for audiences from the first to the last row.