Sunday, November 15, 2009

Longwave; The Grates @ Bowery Ballroom

Longwave; The Grates; A Million Years
@ Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY - November 14, 2009

I only knew one song of Longwave's, going into this gig. "No Direction" is a paramount monster of a song, a thrill of ride of solos, power vocals, and rock n roll intensity. It was with great relief that not only did Longwave play this song, they kicked off the show with it. Unfortunately, all the songs that followed lacked the luster of "No Direction" though by no means was it a bad gig. It is a bit of a stunner that the band isn't more of a full-time rocking machine. They are a little too laid back when they should definitely not be.

Even more finally than finally seeing Longwave, I finally saw the Grates, the hardworking band from Brisbane. In one of the most fun sets of the year, the Grates ran the gamut from mid-decade garage revivalism (or simply, garage rock) to later-decade power pop revivalism (or simply, power pop) to decade-less headbanging swaths of originality and homage. Led by an insatiably, earnestly happy singer named Patience Hodgson. They very often looked and sounded like Be Your Own Pet but with humor and enjoyment of what they were doing. One of the most fun sets of the year.

A lot of people turned for opening act and Longwave cohort Keith Madden and his band A Million Years. Madden has a terrible haircut but that's about the only negative. In a perfectly executed set, A Million Years sound not too different from Longwave and in all the right ways. Throw in a little Britpop and you have the makings of a strong act. Good passionate stuff.

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