Sporting a "Seattle Hearts You" tee, bassist and backup vocalist Tord Øverland-Knudsen’s coos onstage at Neumos on Wednesday, August 27. Check out a slideshow of photos from the show here.
When I previewed this show, I wrote about how after listening to The Wombats’ debut album “The Wombats Proudly Present... A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation” for just a few minutes I was on the ‘net looking for a plane ticket to Liverpool. Well, seeing them live only made me want to go more.
I’ve been to a lot of shows this summer — and had some great times — but when the band broke into “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” it was probably the best music moment I’ve had since the Sasquatch! Festival. Pure indie-rock energy washed over the crowd, and for a few minutes it was total bliss. The beaming smiles made it clear the trio was having a great time, and the lyrics felt even more honest and perfectly poetic in person than they do on the album.
Being one of 107.7 The End’s “Are You On The List?” concert, I was curious what the show’s dynamic would be like. (To clarify that means that the show was free, but the only people allowed in are winners of phone-in contests that put them “on the list.”) Really, it wasn’t much different than other shows I’ve seen at Neumos — just a little smaller, and a little younger.
Frontman Matthew Murphy takes a break from lead vocals to play guitar.
There were a few things about the set that I found especially interesting. Though they don’t have a huge repertoire, the Wombats played a full set by performing literally every song off their album. What was great about that is that there really isn’t a bad song on it, or at least one that isn’t fun to hear live and dance to.
Another is the fact that all three band members participated in the vocals throughout the show. In fact, the opening song (an a cappella harmony titled “Tales of Girls, Boys and Marsupials”) was one of my favorite parts of the show.
And, of course, the three are jokesters; just before leaving the stage, one of them — I didn’t see who — set the keys to loop “Yankee Doodle.” Damn Brits!