by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Operators at Reverb last night wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Instead of a full-out synth dance explosion like what’s heard on the band’s new album, Blue Wave, Dan Boeckner and his band ratcheted up the guitars so it sounded more like Spoon than Depeche Mode. At least most of the time.
A few songs were butt-shake-inducing thanks to the dynamic rhythm section of drummer Sam Brown (who was celebrating a birthday last night and was serenaded with the usual song by the crowd) and bassist Dustin Hawthorne, who looked like a Russian accountant until he took off his blazer revealing sleeves of tattoos.
Two of the best songs of the set are both from 2014’s EP Vol. 1. “One True Love,” the set closer, had a brittle, corrosive (in a good way) rhythm line and intricate synth parts via synth player Devojka that recalled Eno and Jerry Harrison’s first solo album. Intense. It was followed by the first of a two-song encore — the song “Ancient,” performed as a trio sans bass — pure dance heaven.
The live arrangements had me rethinking their new record. I think this was only the second date on their tour supporting this new album, and they may still be adjusting things. For example, another song with a mind-bending deep-groove synth intro was started and stopped two times before the band threw up their hands and moved onto a slower guitar-rock song from the new album. I’ll take the synths — fractured or not — over the riffage every time.
I also caught three songs from opening duo Bogan Via, including their twee take on “Hallelujah.” Sweet voices behind two synths and pre-recorded beats. I should have gotten there earlier.
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Two big shows are happening tonight. Which will you be at?
Over at fabulous O’Leaver’s TEEN headlines. Prepare by reading my Ten Questions interview with the band here. This is a pretty big name for the Club, and I expect it to be packed to the gills. It’s a fully loaded bill with Naytronix (member of tUnE-yArDs) and Icewater opening. $8, 9 p.m.
Meanwhile across town at Reverb Lounge (where I’ll be) Quilt headlines. Like I said yesterday, their new album, Plaza (Mexican Summer Records) is on top of my ’16 list. Read their 10 Questions here. Opening is Iowa City band Halfloves. 9 p.m., $12.
Also tonight, iOlympia Washington indie band Oh, Rose headlines at Milk Run. Thick Paint (Graham Patrick Ulicny of Reptar) and The Shrinks open. $8, 9 p.m.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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