With the summer winding down and people going different directions to different schools and countries, it was time for one last Fresh Heirs jaunt into the music world. The setting of the Ottobar, where the first Fresh Heirs trip for Real Estate was, with Beach Fossils, Javelin, and Warpaint seemed to be perfect. Beach Fossils had been a summer soundtrack for all of us, we’re always up for some electric beats with Javelin, and the prospect of a four-piece girl band in Warpaint was always enticing.
We (Daniel, Anna, Kevin, and friend Julia) got into Ottobar a little bit before Polygons kicked off the night with some electro jams. The duo created an eerie backdrop to the night. They were fun to watch and provided a great prologue to the night, even though I missed the majority of the set because I was talking to Dylan and T.J. from Cloud Nothings.
After Polygons finished, we eagerly waited in the back of the venue for Beach Fossils to set up and get started, but we didn’t want to appear too eager, and thus waited a little but before moving up to the stage. Alas, we waited a little too long and ended up on the right side of the stage, right by a pole that hindered our vision all night long.
But we weren’t going to let this ruin our night. Dustin Payseur and his crew came out as a three-piece to open the set with a new track that reeked of New Order. After the song, T.J. from Cloud Nothings joined the band on stage as the second guitarist and the band launched into a set chock full of hits from the 2010 Captured Tracks release. Highlights early in the set included “Youth” and “Sometimes” with the band energetically dancing around the stage for every second.
Despite constant lineup changes, Beach Fossils has kept a tight live show, a very admirable fact. The only time any member of the band stopped moving was in between songs. Unfortunately, a drunk/inebriated/high/extremely impaired bro took this opportunity to heckle the band, at one point telling them that it would be cool if they killed each other. Talk about awkward.
But besides that, the set ruled. “Daydream,” one of my favorite songs for the past year and a half, was better than I thought it would be while “Golden Age” provided some opportunities for slow and swaying dancing. The finale was “Twelve Roses,” a song that I often end up overlooking, but live was full of more energy than I thought was even possible. During the song, part of which is below, Payseur threw his guitar on the ground and then bass player John punctuated the set, literally, by thrusting his bass through the bottom of the floor tom. Crazy, crazy end to the set.
All this energy made the show worth the price of the ticket ($10) already and it was just the first band. What more could this night bring? Kevin and Anna have the rest.
To be honest, I never really had any other intent to see this show, other than to complete my “one concert per month” outing. I didn’t really know much about any of the bands, other then listening to Beach Fossils album a few times, which I quite enjoyed, and a few songs by Javelin. I saw Javelin at Whartscape, and enjoyed them, but the festival experience sort of limited me from the true experience of the show. However, by the end of the night I was struck by the delectable electro beats of the duo.
The Brooklyn, via Providence, Rhode Island group set up with their tables filled with electronics, Casio keyboard and keytar in front of them, and a person unknown of what their style is would be unaware of what sort of sounds they could possibly produce. In fact, if you’d only have heard their studio recordings, you would be in awe by the end of their set.
Their electronic-infused hip-hop sort of leaves you reminiscent of if Dan Deacon and perhaps Passion Pit collaborated to make something awesome. The singer alternately bounced up and down while toying with his various synths, samplers and other machines, while the “drummer” would beat his drum pad to add to the noise.
With songs like “Lindsay Brohan” (the singer before said “This song’s about California”), the video game-filled “Soda Popinski”, and “Vibrationz” (about “middle school love”) got the crowd (and obnoxious drunk bro) moving around. Lyrics occasionally seemed plagarised from top 40 pop songs or old nursery rhymes to make it all the more enjoyable, and occasionally funny. At the beginning of the night, I told Anna and Dan that I had no idea as to what vibes would come out of the night, with the eclectic-ness of Beach Fossils and Javelin, however it would in fact be the long aspired for chill vibes that had made their way on North Howard Street.
Warpaint is heartbreak. Their gorgeous harmonies and spellbinding jams made for an absolutely hypnotic set. And jam, they did, but these were by no means lackadaisical ramblings. The Los Angeles-based all-girl quartet was a perfect balance of chops, beauty and attitude, with just a little edge. Every lyric and harmony is rife with emotion, as evidenced by the anthemic “Fuck it, where’s my shit” chorus from “Beetles” that bookends a soothing instrumental interlude.
I was totally absorbed in every minute of their set despite the fact that every song was basically an extended jam, which is unheard of in my present days of music ADD. They closed out the set with “Elephants,” a crowd favorite featuring a hypnotic but driving riff, and the otherworldly “Billie Holiday,” just as lush-sounding as on the recording, with its enchanting b-i-l-l-i-e-h-o-l-i-d-a-y refrain interspersed with 60’s Motown hit “My Guy.” Definitely a stark contrast from the previous bands, but the highlight of the night that left everyone incredulous.
For more pictures from this show and other shows Fresh Heirs has attended, click here.