Thursday, March 06, 2008

Paint the Town Orange

Say Hi / Illinois at the Bowery Ballroom, Sunday March 2, 2008
Images and Review by Dominick Mastrangelo

Between sets Sunday night two girls on holiday from Montreal asked me why it looked as if nobody was enjoying themselves. "Hipster angst," I replied, after pausing a second. They knew instantly what I meant; that strange part of hipster culture that translates loosely to 'Of course I'm here but don't expect me to look like I'm enjoying myself.' Those sorts of pretensions, however, were whisked away by the one-two combination of headliner Say Hi and under card Illinois on Sunday night at the Bowery Ballroom. Girls, and even some boys, were dancing and twirling through the last two of a four-band lineup (Meowskers and the Postelles also performed.)

Say Hi architect, Eric Elbogen, performed with just drummer Westin Glass to his right and sampled many of the synthesizer parts while spending most of the set playing guitar. Elbogen is touring in support of his new album The Wishes and the Glitch , out last month, and most of the set featured the new record. Even though he's since relocated to Seattle from the Big Apple, there's that vibe to the record that sets up nicely next to indie, post-punk New Yorkers the French Kicks. New songs "Spiders", "Before We Were Brittle" and single, "Northwestern Girls" (mp3), all pulsed with energy as Glass hammered away with a joy and enthusiasm that the new songs truly deserve. Elbogen bounced in place, smiling, between lyrics of young love and vampires, at all the dancing bodies below him.

Say Hi Tour Dates:
March 6 - Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC
March 7 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
March 8 - The Bottletree Cafe - Birmingham, AL
March 10 - The Opolis - Norman, OK
March 12 - SXSW - Austin, TX
March 13 - SXSW - Austin, TX
March 14 - SXSW - Austin, TX
March 15 - SXSW - Austin, TX
March 16 - The Cavern - Dallas, TX
March 18 - The Hi-Dive - Denver, CO
March 19 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT
March 21 - Spaceland - Los Angeles, CA
March 22 - Bottom Of The Hill - San Francisco, CA
April 2 - Venue TBA - Portland, OR
April 3 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA

Table-setters, Illinois, got the kids dancing for good with their blend of indie folk/funk/rock. The Pennsylvania five-piece featured a banjo, telephone-as-microphone and enough ba ba ba's and woo-hoo's to make Sunday night feel like a Saturday night. Listen to: Screen Door (mp3)

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