Bloc Party are a lot of things. They are the "Next Big Thing", they're on the cover of all the magazines including the FADER, they have hit singles, they over-saturated the SXSW weenie-fest, they have no commercial radio station in New York to play them [what up, Gary Gorman?], they are still unknown by most people in the US, but at their very core, they are four young kids having fun and a whole industry is in on the ride with them. They could just as easily be playing their up-teenth unknown club show in London, but instead they are playing their third sold-out US mini tour and are signed to Vice/Atlantic playing in front of ever growing crowds day after day. That's big. Last night they crashed down at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. The band entered to 50 Cent's "Candy Shop", the choice was probably the first time the NYC bloggerati have heard the song at a venue. Kicking off with "Like Eating Glass" off Silent Alarm, they rambled through their cavalcade of jaunty,Telecaster-ific, crisp "drums-for-math-students", dance-rock including mega hits "Banquet", "The Marshals Are Dead", "She's Hearing Voices", "Staying Fat" and "The Answer". Showing that youthful charisma, they charmed the crowd with little homages to fellow "it bands" like the Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Interpol in the form of quick guitar hooks in between songs as they tuned up. Lead singer Kele Okereke, the slight instigator [mockingly defending Coldplay at one point] is a great front man. Considering he is just a young kid from England living out his dream in front of a dreary, cross-armed NYC crowd, he had that perfect blend of guys respecting him and girls wanting to bang him. Get some penicillin, bro. My personal fave is bassist Gordon Moakes, he lays it down but also provides the harmonies and backing vocals that really highlight a song. When you think about it, each guy has something about him. Like a mini Beatles. Drummer Matt Tong is Ringo [is it Tongo?] and guitarist Russell is the silent George. The expectations are high but isn't that just the place every band wants to be in? Yeah, maybe they are sloppy at times and out of tune, but that all seems like player-hatin' when you look at the bigger picture. Ultimately, compared to all the other new bands out there who take themselves a little too serious, it's refreshing to see Bloc Party honestly bring it to the masses. Other standouts were the ectasy ballad "So Here We Are", "Luno", "Price Of Gas" and the unreleased track "Little Thoughts" which is on the Player #53.
Now if only a radio station in New York would play them.