Friday, March 16, 2007

Elvis's Cold War Bloc Party

After the hot day in the sun yesterday, I took it easy last night and mellowed out to Elvis Perkins – the sort of rockabilly-meets-Belle and Sebastian son of late-actor Anthony Perkins. Perkins was all non-fuss and simplicity, crooning on the mic and breaking out the harmonica while his right-hand man played the stand-up bass and the rest of his band, Deerland, jammed on electric guitars and trumpets, finally parading out a big drum and trombone for their finale.

Perkins and Deerland also made a special guest appearance, bedecked in ‘80s sunglasses, for the finale of Cold War Kids, as they wailed and covered Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Going to Come.” Cold War Kids knocked it out of the park with the opening of their set – a bluesy, boozy rendition of “We Used to Vacation.” They slipped into more tired ground, but reinvigorated the crowd with “Hang Me Up to Dry" (Nathan Willett's protruding vocals are simply fantastic), and brought out the saxophones and Elvis for the last number.

I slipped off to catch the second half of The Dears at Stubb’s, a fairly fulfilling appetizer before the main course, Bloc Party. This being my third Bloc Party show in the last 6 months, I’m a bit worried about gaining stalker status. Opening with “Song for Clay” – the first song on their sophomore album, lead singer Kele Okereke hit all the high notes – literally. Putting the more vocally challenging songs at the beginning of the set, Bloc Party was able to mix up tracks from both albums and keep the fans happy, without straining their voices. The set didn’t blow anybody away, but Bloc Party is always a delight. (And yes, I am biased.)

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