Ah, nothing quite says summer in the nationís capital as much as the annual free indie rock music series at Fort Reno park. Last nightís lineup consisted of The Evens, Ian Mackaye of Fugaziís new band, a duo that features former Ted Leo Pharmacist Amy Farina and Ted Leo and the Rx. Heading straight to the park from work, I managed to catch the last two songs by The Evens, and I think I discovered one of my favorite new DC bands. Imagine Velvet Underground meets Sparklehorse stripped down to a baritone guitar and drums with guy/girl vocal exchange.
Then came a gorgeous pink tinged sunset and Ted Leo and the Rx to the stage. Ted used to spend a lot of time in the district as he first built his cult like indie following fronting Chisel. Still fond of his time spent here, Ted warmly remarked ìI want to thank Fort Reno for letting me keep my honorary DC citizenshipî (as the music series only features local acts) after the setís opener, "Where have all the Rude Boys Gone."
The hour plus set featured a handful of songs from the recently completed follow up to Hearts of Oak, all of which sounded great. Ted thanked the youthful crowd for spontaneous hand claps as over 1,000 strong gathered for the show, mostly teenagers singing along to nearly every song ñ where have all the rude boys gone I ask? ?Ah, well there was one heckler, but Ted shot him down over and over again. ?The show came to a glorious end with a cover of Stiff Little Fingersí "Suspect Device." Mr. Leo and the boys continue a summer tour through the month of July.