Saturday, November 1, 2008

SHOW REVIEW: THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS LIVE @ The Grand Ballroom in NYC

On Thursday, I went to see The Last Shadow Puppets in New York City, which apparently became sold out during the past week. I got into the city around 5:00 and went to get a bite to eat. At around 6:00 we decided to just go straight to the venue and see if we could get in. When we got there, there were already people waiting in line, but at least we were part of the first third there. After standing, for about an hour and a half, mind you it was 30º, they finally started letting people in. We ran up 14 flights of stairs to the top where the ballroom was. We immediately bought shirts and staked out a place in real close to the front, being that it was general admission standing. After a half an hour of waiting, the time had come: 8:00. After about a half an hour more, we just assumed the opening act, Stephen Fretwell, just forgot to come, but like a ship in the night, he comes on at around 8:35. He introduced himself as ‘Hi, my name is Stephen Fretwell, not The Last Shadow Puppets’. Though very angry that he didn’t come on at the set time (8:00), I can’t say he was bad. His songs were a good combination of pop, indie, and folk. It was just him and his guitar. He had quite a wit about him too as seen when someone yelled ‘I love you!’ he quickly said ‘If I could see you, I might love you too’ and he kept saying we were all ‘very kind’. He did five songs, my personal favorite was his last one ‘Emily’. He was done at around nine and I just assumed the Puppets were only minutes away, but no. All the guitar techs/microphone techs and such came out. For a half an hour, they plucked/spoke/banged around, and quite frankly, they were too picky being that the show was supposed to start an hour and thirty minutes ago. The orchestra were the first to come on. When the house lights finally turned down, the crowd freaked. They began to play the basic theme of the album and Miles Kane and Alex Turner came out. I was awestruck and said to myself ‘Are they really there?’. We were positioned about 5 feet in front of Miles and 15 or so feet from Alex. They were both wearing jeans and a leather jacket, but Miles came on these black, slight-aviator sunglasses. They weren’t exactly hard on the eyes, if you know what I mean. They immediately went into ‘In My Room’ which was very suiting to start. It was so much more powerful than it was on the album that it surprised me. Afterwards they moved into ‘Age of The Understatement’, which was one the best performances I’ve ever seen. The way they worked the crowd fit the mood of the music perfectly. ‘Only the Truth’ was extremely well done. They got the tight opening parts down which helped make it one of their cleanest, yet heaviest performances. ‘Separate and Ever Deadly’ was the most interesting performance. Miles said 'This is Separate and Ever Deadly'. Alex said 'What did you say?' and Miles replied 'I fucking said Separate and Ever Deadly' and everyone clapped and screamed. They nailed the beginning, but right after the slight break in the middle finished, Miles came in a second too early thus making it sound very off. He proceeded to stop the band and say ‘I fucked it up’. He then said that he wanted to redo that bit to get it right but Alex said ‘You really want to enjoy that handsome maverick bit’. It was very funny! It was kind of charming how he decided to explain it to the audience Alex what he had done. I had heard that they were playing ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ at the gig previous to this one, but I hadn’t expected them to play it here. Miles’s part sounded much more into it than John Lennon ever did. For the encore, their version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Memories’ was my favorite performance. Miles got so into his part and the way he awkwardly lazed around the stage really made the performance. They closed with, clearly the fan favorite, ‘Standing Next To Me’. In general, the show was everything I expected it to be and more. I never dreamed I’d be standing that close to either of them or that I’d actually be able to hear this live. Though I was standing a few feet next to amp, I still got the idea that the quality of sound was almost recording quality. The only complaints I do have are that more people seemed to be piled on Alex’s side (surprise(I was on Miles’s)), the way they made you wait in the beginning was mildly ridiculous, and the orchestra were a decibel or two too loud. Next time they come around, I strongly suggest seeing them, I know I will!
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Set List:
In My Room
Age of the Understatement
Calm Like You
Black Plant
Only The Truth
Gas Dance
Little Red Book
Separate and Ever Deadly
Hang the Cyst
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
My Mistakes Were Made for You
In The Heat of The Morning
I Don’t Like You Anymore
The Chamber
The Time Has Come Again
The Meeting Place
ENCORE
Memories
Standing Next To Me
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Note: I got the first picture from here and I got the 2nd picture from here. I hope this review gave a decent review/picture of what I'd seen. I have to get something out: I read 3 reviews of this show and I disagree with all of them. One (male) reviewer said that if you were a women, and you saw Miles make eye contact with you while performing, you would've thought 'What and asshole!' but, I know for a fact that that reviewer doesn't know how a woman's minds works.

4 comments:

Lily Hydrangea said...

I agree, that reviewer definitely does not know how a womans mind works!
Is there a way to move those slide show thingys? I can't read the rest of the article & I'm dying to read what else you wrote!

Double Hawk said...

Lily: What do you mean? It seems like you got to the end of the article being that the woman's mind thing was at the end. Do you mean the two glastonbury things or the two pictures I have in the article?

Arnold Layne said...

Great stuff - sounds like a load of fun. I hope to see them next time they come around, but I'm glad I got to hear your review first.

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: I realized after I wrote it that it wasn't much of a review, more like a personal account of what happened, but I think it was pretty informative anyhow. Glad you liked it!