Review:: Silversun Pickups + a flood @ Richard's on Richards

First off - before reviewing the show, I just want to give a huge thanks to Christopher and the rest of Silversun Pickups for getting us in after a guest list snafu. Much appreciated. Getting meet and hear bands like the SSPUs is what's so great about being a blogger, as opposed to being a journalist. They let you step outside professionalism and just be a fan.

Dick's on Dicks managed to harness a great lineup, easing the pain of all us West coasters that couldn't fly to Pitchfork. Hearing Magnolia Electric Co, Ladyhawk and the Silversun Pickups is not a bad way to spend a Sunday evening. Not surprisingly, when the SSPU's took the stage, there weren't too many cats in attendance. Vancouver is notorious for showing up late to shows, mainly because more often than not, the opening slot is filled by a shit local band.

That didn't stop the 4-piece from cranking up the amps and rocking. From the outside, you'd be confused at the look of the band and the rock they produce. Starting at the front, Brian sets up and has more pedals than an elementary school bike rack. Keyboardist and sound magician Joe Lester, who looks kind of like a southern rock Dwight Schrude or a 70's George Lucas, moves only to grab a swig of beer and to dial nobs. Christopher is an animal on the kit - literally he reminded me of Animal from the Muppets (in a good way) with his long hair and high energy style - he is a blur and fun to watch. The final piece is Nikki on the bass. She is throws in some great fills and is easy on the eyes, but the most endearing aspect of her performance is the slight, almost embarrassed smile she gets as the band really starts rocking. This band seems like a group of people you know and want to see do well. They seem thrilled to be playing for anyone, let alone hundreds of fans and that sincerity rips through the crowd and makes the show that much better.

The band ploughed through tracks from their debut album, Carnavas and the Pikul EP. The whole set sounded great (Melatonin, Well Thought Out Twinkles, Common Reactor, and Dream at Tempo 119), but the best song was the high energy Lazy Eye. The band attacked it, bringing the crowd to a frenzy. In a perfect world, Nikki's vocals would have be turned up, but the set was the most enjoyable performance I've seen since Ted Leo's set last September.

It's no secret that Herohill loves the record, but the live performance the band delivered was so impressive that fnas showing up to see Ladyhawk quickly pushed forward. By the end of the set, the floor was filled with people nodding along. As the band set to play the final song of the night, Nikki quietly announced, "We are the Silversun Pickups, for the gentleman who asked." Since no one could hear her, she had to keep repeating the name he finally heard. A more perfect metaphor I couldn't write, as this band will be winning fans over with every show, until everyone knows who they are.

Then the insanity set in. As Ladyhawk was setting up, the venue got shut down because it was flooding. I'm not sure if Nelly was rapping and the sprinklers went off or what, but a night of great rock was cut short. Luckily the SSPUs rocked the crowd enough to make the night worthwhile.

@ 5:45 PM, ben kicked the following game:

anybody got any live recordings of SSPU? i've got lots to trade at:


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