FRIGHTENED RABBIT @ THE STARLIGHT BALLROOM 10/28/10

Published on October 29th, 2010

Last night, Frightened Rabbit played a gracious and energetic show at the Starlight Ballroom.  They brought along fellow import The Phantom Band and Canadian trio Plants and Animals. Plants and Animals played a set of cuts mainly from their Polaris nominated La La Land, along with a few oldies like ‘Good Friend’ and a cover to boot. The trio sounded more folk-inspired on their debut LP, Parc Avenue, while the aforementioned La La Land has a more classic rock psychodelia feel, lined with reverb and wandering in a way that displays Plants and Animals’ dexterity and eclectic influences. They warmed the crowd up nicely and won more than a few people over in the process.

The floor really filled in, and the much heralded emotive indie rock crew, Frightened Rabbit, did not disappoint.  The Scots played a very tight set that bounced back and fourth between their fine newest album, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, and its stellar predecessor, The Midnight Organ Fight.  The songs, filled to the brim with romance and angst, had a tormented energy that made for a charged and connected performance both on stage and within the crowd.

The crowd perked up at the opening notes of old favorites like ‘Old Old Fashioned’ and ‘Keep Yourself Warm’, as well as for newer tunes like ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’ and ‘Yes, I Would.’  The latter songs utilized a sample pad that added a lush atmosphere to the (relatively) more rugged live instrumentation.The band left head honcho Scott Hutchinson to his lonesome for some especially intimate moments, but never strayed too far and made their presence known upon their return. The high point came when they returned for the last time to play ‘The Twist,’ a bouncing standout from their impressive albeit short career. I didn’t see any tears at this one, but by the looks of some of my neighbors, it was pretty close. It’s that, if anything, that showed the bands’ ability to resonate with a large and varied crowd and turn collective heartache into poignant musical moments.

Setlist:

Things
The Modern Leper
Nothing Like You
Old Old Fashioned
Swim Until You Can’t See Land
The Wrestle
I Feel Better
Fast Blood
Backwards Walk
Not Miserable
Head Rolls Off
Be Less Rude
Good Arms vs. Bad Arms – Solo
Living in Colour
Keep Yourself Warm

—encore—

Poke – Solo
The Twist
The Loneliness

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