You know it's going to be a good night when you; nab a free street parking spot close to the venue; get carded at the door (anyone in the thirtysomethings knows what I mean); and finally, it's still roomy enough inside to maneuver a comfy viewing and listening position. All systems go as I readied myself to hear one of the most anticipated live acts to come out of New York, The Bravery.
Two openers got things started right on schedule. The Photo Atlas, a four piece from Denver had a decent set. Sounding very much like The Cult with a lead singer that had the jet black hair and tight stripy shirt of the '80's era, there was something oddly familiar about their tunes. Maybe being a prodigy of the "big hair" days myself, it just felt like I'd been there, heard that.
The Cinematics faired much better. Having seen this Scottish foursome open for Mute Math a few months ago, I was surprised at how much they impressed me this time around. Even frontman, Scott Rinning's choppy Brandon Flowers'-like hand gestures, couldn't distract from his, er, killer pipes. With danceable tunes like "Break" and "Keep Forgetting", these really young, really skinny and really British boys are ones to watch.
As the clock neared eleven, The Bravery burst on stage with their hit "Fearless" followed by "Out of Love", both from their debut self-titled album. Just as I was beginning to wonder how much of their latest The Sun and The Moon we would hear, being released just four days earlier, they led right into the first track, "Believe". With its new wave rhythmic bass intro and a catchy chorus of "so give me something to believe/'cause I am living just to breathe", this tune should be radio bound soon.
Having just picked up The Sun and The Moon, I was very excited to see these guys perform some of the tracks live. They delivered with vigor everything from softer introspective songs like "Time Won't Let Me Go" and "This Is Not The End" to the punk spiked "Every Word Is A Knife In My Ear". Sam Endicott's, boundless energy was contagious as the crowd happily jumped and bopped along. But it was the charismatic boyish grin of guitarist Michael Zakarin, as he took centre stage for several alluring solos that really threw everyone into high gear. During "An Honest Mistake", the band's biggest hit to date, one such solo ended with a bang as white confetti rained down on us against black light; very retro indeed.
With lots of "ba ba ba's; la la la's; ooh ooh's" and even a cool whistling intro into "Bad Sun", The Bravery's brand of '80's new wave with a fresh bite is a welcome blast from the past.
For more on The Bravery visit www.thebravery.com.
Writer: Lisa Kerr