Of all the bands that I've seen for the first time in 2002 or 2003, there's one band that sticks out as the supreme live act from the new blood. Luckily for me, that band was playing again in San Francisco last night: The Music. This quartet from Leeds has been incredible on stage each of the five times I've seen them and last night was no exception. I just wish I could say the same for the opening act...
If you've ever been in San Francisco, you know Bimbo's 365 is one of the premier venues. A swanky, David Lynch-esque vibe permeates throughout this historic building. Many great acts, Blur The Strokes, BRMC, Supergrass and The Charlatans UK, just to name a few, have played Bimbo's in recent years. So imagine my surprise at walking in to The Music's support act, Revolution Smile. I had been vaguely interested in checking the four-piece from Sacramento, as I loved Far, and a member was in Revolution Smile; however, I did not plan for the nu-metal "revolution" of The Smile. Sounding dated and amazingly lacking in dynamics, the quartet rocked through 45 minutes of relatively hook-free thrashers. And then came the capper: frontman Shaun Lopez went on a diatribe about what real rock & roll was and how The Vines were not what rock & roll were about. "Rock & roll isn't about acting all loco like the guy in The Vines. That guy from The Vines is a pussy!" he screamed, almost completely quieting the stunned crowd and somehow not realizing that The Music and The Vines are best friends, having toured for the past five months together. Not exactly the smartest move I have seen in ages, to say the least.
Half an hour later, most of my previous misery was erased as my boys from the UK hit the stage and ripped into "The Dance" from their debut, self-titled album. It's difficult to imagine that the band are all in their late teens and very early twenties. Guitarist Adam Nutter plays like he's been at it for as long as he's been alive, eliciting wave after soaring wave of hard-edge psychedelic mayhem from his six-string and drummer Phil Jordan does his best at channeling both Keith Moon and Animal from the Muppets concurrently. Much of the album was unveiled, including "Truth Has No Words," "Human," "Float," and "Disco." As the band went into "The People," frontman Robert Harvey exclaimed "Some bands whine too much. This song is for The Vines!" which elicited a roar from the crowd. Good one, Revolution Smile! Way to piss off your headliners!
The rest of the set was properly stellar. "Turn Out The Light," the record's standout track, the amazingly groovetastic "Getaway," and initial single "Take The Long Road & Walk It" were all mesmerizing in their bombastic, skyscraping heights. As they eased into the incendiary instrumental perennial set closer, "Walls Get Smaller," the energy in the room reached a crescendo and as the closing cacophony subsided, the greatness that is The Music live resonated far after the amps had been switched off.