Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fanfarlo; Freelance Whales @ Webster Hall

Fanfarlo; Freelance Whales
@ Webster Hall
New York, NY - December 18, 2009

Fanfarlo is yet another of those ultra-fast rising bands that in a year's time rocket from playing little holes in the wall to packin' 'em in at a place like Webster Hall. The vast majority of those bands then seem to peak at the Webster Hall level. I have no reason to suspect anything else will happen to Fanfarlo but I'm rooting for them anyway. Led by Simon Balthazar - a Swede who looks like a cross between Tom Waits and Dan J. Miller of the old Blanche band and recently reunited GOOBER & THE PEAS - Fanfarlo are in the orchestral pop mode of things. They swoon like Camera Obscura but can thunder about like the Arcade Fire. They have an amalgamated retro look - from plaid and facial hair to a pixie waif to a prep nerd to Simon's bowtie and starched shirt. They were perfectly complimented by the similar sounding and equally inviting Freelance Whales.

If I could try and find a way to find a greater meaning in any of this, here it is: I started the gig year 2009 at Webster Hall seeing a band featuring an acrobatic act (DeVotchKa) and I presumably end the 2009 gig year with a band featuring an acrobatic act - apparently, Fanfarlo got their buzz from a video for their best song, "The Walls Are Coming Down". The video featured an escape artist - wrestling out of a straight jacket while dangling above. But I have never been bothered to see it since I am too inundated with information. So it was lost on me when they had a live escape artist do this thing while they opened the show with that amazing song. Everyone else in the crowd was loving it while I worried about the guy falling to his death and moaning in my head about such useless distractions. Of course everyone else in the crowd was also talking to each other rather than taking the show in. Yet they found time to crowd the space, and take millions of instant cell phone photos. And this is partly why there has been a relative decrease in show reviews on this blog. The fun has kind of gone out of it. And I am exhausted.

But have no fear - the spirit will never die. Not as long as there are bands like Fanfarlo around. On to another ten years of rock n' roll and whatever unknown chaos, drama, theatrics, hijinks, and maybe even fun there is yet to be had.

Oh here's that video:

Maybe I will finally watch it.

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At December 20, 2009 at 11:06:00 AM EST, Anonymous What a pile of shit said...

Is this supposed to be a review? I Googled this looking for some actual information about a show by a great band and I find you crying about being tired and cranky. because people wanted to take a picture of a band adding a little something extra for a big show. God forbid.

You are precisely why the blogsophere gets a bad rap for being crowded with amateurs and drivel. You didn't even mention the music.


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