Los Campesinos_0.jpg
This is a band that inspires a mosh pit.
Los Campesinos!

Saturday, February 4th

The Neptune

You could hardly ask for a better night to


Los Campesinos! Bring Their Anthemic Sadness, Moshing to the Neptune

Los Campesinos_0.jpg
This is a band that inspires a mosh pit.
Los Campesinos!

Saturday, February 4th

The Neptune

You could hardly ask for a better night to see Los Campesinos! than the literal eve of Superbowl Sunday and the figurative eve of St. Valentine's Day. And not just because their song "You! Me! Dancing!" appeared in a Budweiser ad that ran every 12 minutes during last year's Superbowl. Football* and romance--winning, and (more often) losing at both--are prime concerns of the Welsh indie pop sextet. They have a song sort of about the England national football team ("Every Defeat a Divorce"), which as I understand it is essentially like Bon Iver writing a song about the Green Bay Packers, were they a consistently losing squad, and their catalogue is littered with football references. This is their healthy pastime, but the crushing futility of life, romance, and everything else is their larger obsession.

They make the morbid and morose go down easy, though, via frontman Gareth's sharp gallows humor and the band's boisterous pile-ons of guitars, glockenspiel, keys, and the kitchen sink. Also: Los Campesinos! may be a twee indie pop band, but they have the rowdiest mosh pit this side of Fucked Up at last year's Capitol Hill Block Party. You know, there's dancing!

So my notes are pretty paltry, because I was up front in the crush of people jumping and shouting along. Los Campesinos! make every saddo song an anthem, and this was a crowd that knew all the words. Today, I'm thinking about how all it takes is one body just barely bumping into another body to turn politely vertical pogoing into a tangle of limbs and almost falling over and other people's sweat. It never gets old.

They walked out to Why?'s "Early Whitney," bridging the gap between two of my favorite gloomy oversharers. They introduced "Songs About Your Girlfriend" by saying of their concert that "this is no place for people in love." Not above making fun of themselves for being corporate sell-out whores, Gareth swapped a line in "You! Me! Dancing!" for something about "Budweiser 'til I die." They mentioned that they were recording a live record, which would have been sweet (it's always nice to have a show you're at turn into an official document), but then their recording gear fucked up. ("It's the LC! way.") I left drenched, had to change into my freshly purchased souvenir t-shirt like a dork.

(Again, notes sacrificed at the foot the mosh pit, so thing may be missing or out of order, but the following is my best guess at the set list--superfans, feel free to correct me here.)

"By Your Hand"

"Romance is Boring" (just in time for Valentines!)

"Songs About Your Girlfriend"

"Straight in at 101"

"There Are Listed Buildings"

"Life is a Long Time"

"A Heat Rash in the Shape of the Show Me State, or Letters From Me to Charlotte"


"We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed"

"To Tundra"

"You! Me! Dancing!"

"The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future"

"Hello Sadness"

"Baby I've Got the Death Rattle"


"Ways to Make it Through the Wall"

"Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks"

*That is real football (aka "soccer").

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