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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Review - The Sounds / Natalia Kills / Kids at the Bar / The Limousines in NYC
Monday, November 07, 2011

I arrive at shows too early. It’s a blessing and a curse. The curse is that oftentimes, like on Friday, November 4th, I’m so early I have to find something else to do for an hour. The blessing, which also was illustrated on Friday, November, 4th, is that I never miss an opening act, and, as someone who loves discovering new talent and hearing artists I’ve never heard before, sometimes the opening act can have the biggest impact on me.

On November 4th I was at Webster Hall in NYC to see Natalia Kills, who I’m a fan of. Also on the bill were The Sounds, who were the headliners, Kids at the Bar, and The Limousines (the latter pictured above). When I walked in The Limousines were hitting the stage and the two man electro-rock crew had me hooked from jump.

As I listened to producer Giovanni Giusti work magic on what looked to be a sampler and a drum machine (there was A LOT of smoke on the stage and it was tough to see the equipment) and singer Eric Victorino’s great vocals I was digging their electro-rock vibe. When they did a cover of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” putting a bass heavy eletro-rock twist on it, I was all in. I was all in to the point that I was mad at myself for not knowing about The Limousines before this.

Natalia Kills followed The Limousines. I was thrilled she opened her set with two of my favorites - “Break You Hard” and “Wonderland.” She also worked in two of my other faves in “Mirrors” and “Acid Annie.” Her set had a technical glitch as her mic wasn’t quite as loud as it should have been (the backing vocals shouldn’t be louder than the lead vocals), which spawned quite the moment when she took a second to mention it to a tech guy and then, instead of waiting until the song Kills was singing was over the tech guy tried to switch out mics mid-song. At the time she was singing “Kill My Boyfriend,” but the look she shot the tech guy made it clear that he was now at the top her kill list.

Despite the technical glitch Kills still spoke a little bit with the crowd and displayed her personality. Her moves as a singer ranged from jazz chanteuse as she caressed the mic stand, to pissed off rocker as she made every attempt to embody her angrier lyrics, to pop starlet when she smiled and bounced to some of her more pop oriented songs. I would have liked to have seen her utilize more of the stage, she stayed in one place a lot of the time, but that may have been due to the microphone issues.

In-between Natalia Kills and headliners The Sounds, Kids at the Bar came out to keep the crowd dancing. Their set was all ecstasy pills and glow sticks... in a good way. They created a club vibe in a packed house and even got the crowd fist pumping to Afrojack. I can honestly say that I wanted their set to be longer. In fact, if I ever hear the duo has their own night in NYC I’ll make it a point to attend. They gave the crowd a great time.

When The Sounds hit the stage the crowd erupted. This was clearly their audience and they played to it. With a decade under their belts as a band the Swedish New Wave rockers with punk undertones (or perhaps overtones) performed an over 90 minute set littered with hits from their four albums. I will openly admit I wasn’t overly familiar with The Sounds before attending this show, but seeing lead singer Maja Ivarsson was pretty amazing. She’s like something out of punk rock’s past, belonging on stage at CBGBs in the 70s alongside the likes of Blondie, making both the boys and and the girls go wild for her, with both sexes knowing damned well hitting on her could result in getting kicked in the face. She arrived on the stage smoking a cigarette, taking drags between verses in the band’s first song, and lit up again later on during the set. She had everyone hanging on her every word and move. One particularly memorable moment was when she said she wasn’t a fan of performing ballads, but she would perform one because the fans kept calling for it. Whether or not she didn’t like performing it might be up for debate, but making it seem as though it was solely for the fans was a nice way to involve the crowd, which she seemed to love just as much as they loved her. One particular superfan was so into the set he was in a constant state of almost falling out of the balcony.

By the end of The Sounds’ set I was dragging. My feeling had nothing to do with the show, which was filled with energy, and gave me three acts to investigate further. Rather, it was due to my whole “arriving at shows too early” thing. I had been standing for nearly four hours and was ready to take a break.

Like I said, it’s a blessing and a curse, but I’ll gladly accept the curse if the blessing is making sure I see acts like The Limousines and expand my list of artists I enjoy and plan on writing about.

Check out 14 pics from the show here.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:27 AM  
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