On a brisk October night, Super Furry Animals and Grandaddy came to warm up a sold out 9:30 Club in Washington. With random chants of ìS F Aî ìS F Aî, the Welshmen guided the crowd through an eclectic set full of acoustic landscapes, Suede-esque synthing, and balls out rock for nearly fifty minutes. If one wasnít mesmerized by the animated visuals behind the band, one would be impressed enough with Gruff Rhys' selection of painted guitars, some worthy of future museum display. The band was definitely about keeping things in tune, changing to new instruments after nearly every song; even the bass player switched up gear. The five-some finally made their way off stage only to come back out for an encore decked out in their golden retriever costumes.
Most in the crowd stayed fixated on the stage as an official intermission came with a Charlie Chaplin movie on stage as the five dust croppers from Modesto, CA prepared to pick up where SFA left off. The humble, gosh how-did-we get-so-big vibe played well on stage, especially when singerJason Lytle joked that "you can catch them on Letterman tonight because no other band was available." Songs from the growing G-daddy catalogue, along with tracks from their latest release Sumday were as full and colorful as that vegetable stand you used to pass on your way to Grandmaís house.
Taking in a Grandaddy performance is as much a feast on the eyes as much as it is your aural senses with home movies, ranging from the cinematic to campy, float behind the band effortlessly. Taking my eyes off the band for a moment, I caught a mother/daughter duo clapping along dressed in flannel shirts and I knew autumn was officially on the books in the District. That, and the fact they came a long way for the show, as no one in DC has owned flannel since ìYellow Ledbetterî was a surprise radio hit for Pearl Jam. Maybe Grandaddy will inspire a flannel comeback; theyíve already help spawn the mesh trucker hat revolution. Catch the Northern Californians on The Late Late Show tonight or in your town till the end of the month before they hightail it overseas.