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Live Review: Acute @ The Troubadour 06/20/07

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Last night's show was underwhelming. Not in terms of performance, but in terms of turnout. Given, the show was up against NME's David Bazan extravaganza (ouch). I feel compelled to expose the flaws in order to prove that Acute deserves much, much more. As I arrive fashionably late, I walk into the Troubadour and my jaw drops. There's no more than 50 people inside as Acute began their set with the upbeat 'Rip Your Heart Out!'. Nevertheless, the band dove head first into a set full of foot-tapping songs. Frontman Isaac Lekach successfully carried the band to safety from the Hot Water Music fans with the usual playful and endearing antics. He joked about getting stopped at the border for marijuana possession, despite not having any, and played the beginning of the set with a fake mustache, subsequently attaching it to his guitar for the remainder. Other highlights included: the irrefutably infectious 'Take A Step Back', the prom-perfect 'You Could End Up In Love', the sing-song 'Trouble' and an unbelievable cover of Electric Light Orchestra's classic 'Mr. Blue Sky'. I just couldn't get over the fact that such a tightly knit performance could pass so carelessly under everyone's radar. The crowd's distance from the front of the stage conveyed an overall hesitancy to approach, even to truly connect. Who would've thought? Hot Water Music front-man, Chuck Ragan, and Jesse Malin, who's most notably recognized through his associations with Ryan Adams, formed an abrupt conclusion to Acute's resoundingly poppy set.

I believe the comments I overheard while Chuck Ragan performed appropriately assessed the general gist of the following acts: "This guy sounds like Steve Earle." Entirely! This contributes to my constant flux of confusion. Acute is the type of band that literally transforms their songs from recording to live, making them much more agreeable. They deserve a better turnout, a suitable line-up, including artists that actually relate in some way or another to their shoe-gaze alt-rock sound, and furthermore a more receptive crowd. So, why are they on the bill with a bunch of artists who draw a demographic that simply won't take a liking to them? A true shame. If you saw this band opening for the The National, International Falls or The Movies, you would absolutely fall in love with them.

More pictures after the jump...

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Set List:
'Rip Your Heart Out!'
'You Want It? Take It! It's Yours! 'Rush To It'
'Take A Step Back'
'You Could End Up In Love'
'We Can't Stop'
'Trouble'
'Blue Sky'