Far too often, there are multiple shows that I would like to go to in a single night and I always end up having to make a really tough decision. But occasionally, the two bands that I want to see will play at The Middle East Upstairs and Downstairs. And as long as they're both not headlining and their sets aren't at the same time, I'm usually able to go see both bands. I did this with Asobi Seksu (opening for The Ataris, yuck) and Dalek. And I also got to do this last night with A Faulty Chromosome and Black Moth Super Rainbow (who opened for Subtle).
So I got to hop back and forth between Upstairs and Downstairs before both of the bands went on and I got to see a handful of opening acts. Talk Modern played before A Faulty Chromosome and they were generic jock rock, the sort of thing you'd hear on WBCN or the like. In other words, not my kinda thing and they really turned me off. And before BMSR went on, The Republic Tigers played. They were a very pleasant dreamy indie pop band. Good stuff. I enjoyed them enough to consider listening again at a later date.
Black Moth Super Rainbow went on at about 10:00 and played to a club filled with people. I had no idea how popular BMSR were in Boston, and I think they band was pretty surprised as well. The audience was going crazy, cheering them on even after they left the stage. You know, it's a shame that "openers" can't do encores because that would have been entirely appropriate last night. They performed for a decent amount of time and played the songs everyone wanted to hear (Forever Heavy, Sun Lips, Drippy Eye, etc) but we all wanted more. I gotta say, I was shocked by the appearance of the band. They looked so...normal. Like, regular people. I'm not sure what I was expecting...maybe hippies or something. Whatever. I obviously don't care what they look like, as long as their music is awesome. And it is.
After Black Moth finished, I went Upstairs expecting to have to wedge my way inside through all the people because A Faulty Chromosome is one of those bands that's about the blow up, right? Well, I guess not. I think they're still in the pre-about-to-blow-up phase because after Talk Modern finished, the club cleared out in a matter of minutes. This was the exact opposite of the crowd Downstairs. I think there were maybe 3 other people that were there specifically for AFC (I saw them come in halfway during Talk Modern's set) and maybe half a dozen other people left over from the last band, maybe sticking around out of politeness. I guess politeness only goes so far, though, because not all of them stayed. This was one of those times when you feel painfully awkward just for being in the audience because you're basically the only one there. And you feel terrible for the band. They're on tour, from Texas and nobody came to see them. Quite sad.
Anyway, they were even more fun live than on record. Lots of silly instruments, whistling and colorful sheets thrown all over the monitors and amps to liven the place up a bit (it worked). Everything about them puts a smile on your face. During one of the songs that called for handclaps, two of them turned to face each other and clap each others hands like two school girls playing Miss Mary Mack. Adorable! Everything was perfect for the show. No annoying crowd, plenty of room to sway and bob my head, and a band that was sincerely appreciative of me being there. I hope they find more crowds elsewhere on their tour.