I still remember Bloc Party. They just played. Eleventh day of March. 2007. Paramount Theater. Seattle America. Super cool night in the Needle. I crushed on them hard when I triggered their Silent Alarm, went out of my way to George Washington to catch them at the 2005 Sasquatch Festival and was let down. The day was not theirs for the conquering. Touring had taken its toll, whoring had turned the rock playing into a life-taking job. They seemed to not want to be there. At Sasquatch or on stage. I sort of turned my back on them after that. I still listened to that record, that dream boat audio ride, but it was not the same. Tonight they won be back, so hard. Listening to the set list right now on playback MP3 it is hard for me to say anything but nice pleasantries about this evening's show. The boys in Bloc Party blew me, away.
Daylight savings time 9:57 p.m. First song from the new album flicks our dicks on. "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)". Album called A Weekend In The City. VICE/Wichita. 'East London is a vampire / it sucks the joy right out of me.' Yes Capitol Hill scenesters could relate. Space Needle sucks the life out of all. For number two the pretty Brits went back to that delicious debut, Silent Alarm, when they were still so young. 'You're just as boring as everyone else,' oh Kele don't I know it. The kids here in Seattle America are so snorey, I swear. Why can't everyone act more like the English? 'Something glorious is about to happen.' Kele wearing a frankly vulgar purple pullover. Mandatory Morrissey reference. Both are witty lyricists with voices as unique as the artistic image they project. 'Play it cool boy.'
As the players became drenched in a sea of blue it seemed appropriate to stick with Silent Alarm for the third song performed: "Blue Light." I did notice that the drummer had taken his shirt off. Matt Tong, I believe his mother named him. What I would like to know is the name of the man who personally trained him. Kid needs to work on those abs. Tonight was the first stop on a vast North American tour and USA babes do not like a fatty! But Matty's terrific banging of the drum saved his neck. Collapsed lung? You mean he suffered a collapsed lung? Why didn't anyone tell me? Shit. If I had human emotions I might feel bad, you know, for calling him a fatso in print. But I don't.
"Hunting For Witches" rushed in hot and bothered like Thumper the rabbit with a bladder problem after drinking a six pack of beer, six pack of beer, six pack of beer. Tonight's set was tight like a virgin on prom night, I admit. "Hunting For Witches" hunks and chunks with the same riff raff heard on "Banquet," the one we continue to adore.
"Waiting For The 718". Who doesn't want to drive to Brighton for the weekend? Shit, I know I do. Don't you? Wait a minute. Is he talking about Brighton Beach? Because that's in Brooklyn where the area code happens to be 718, am I wrong?
Sparkling fadeout of jingle jangle as Kele motivates the Seattleites to clap it tight. Then "Banquet" comes swinging for our fucking faces. Double strum tandem back to back guitar rip rocking us apart red lights blue lights flashing I thought I was being arrested, again. I lost my hearing a lot too. They brought some pretty noise. "I Still Remember."
Kele reveals that it is guitarist Russell Lisack's birthday. Everyone sang that song, the birthday song. Kid turned twenty-six. God I felt old. Am old. I've been going to shows since before you started jerking off.
"This Modern Love" was a pure torcher. Burned the stage off. Crowd was into it. I did notice plenty of girls who thought it wise to wear layer after layer of make up. Too much is too much girl. The face needs to breathe. And if you are going to laugh, ladies this is important, please don't laugh like an idiot. If you laugh terrible you most likely are terrible, and no one wants to stand next to the terrible kid at a show.
Bass preaches out sermon shouts "The Prayer" number nine song of the set. Bloc Party at the Paramount. Kick drum kick kick kicking us all in the sweaty balls, place was a little too warm for my taste. The steam from the heated equipment filled the house with smoke. 'Tonight make me unstoppable.' "Kreuzberg" started up and I faded out. For a moment. Slow opened strums sent eyes to the back of my head. Dream music. It was late and I am an old old man. I have an old man's beard. I wake up at random times throughout the night and go pee. Because I'm so old. That's why these kids amaze me, Bloc Party.
Kele raps with the audience. The little scrawny bass player, who also played the second set of drums and plink planked the xylophone, told us that them boys have been here for a few days. Watching us. Said they visited the grave site of Bruce Lee. Kele started to riff a Jimi tune, I remember it was "Voodoo Chile." Seattle is the land of Jimi. And Kurdt. And Eddie, but he ain't dead. Yet.
"So Here We Are" caused everyone in the Paramount Theater to make out. Seriously. There was so much spit swapping, all sorts of tonguing and butt feeling. I wish you could have seen it. We were hot!
They stayed with Silent Alarm for the first song on that album, "Like Eating Glass." During the show and right now I think of Radiohead. Both the violent early Pablo Honey and electronic mellow Hail To The Thief, and Bloc Party thought about them too. Like drinking poison, like eating glass. As this song slammed shut the entire crowd held its breath. There was a moment of life that was taken, by the abrupt termination of such a remarkable pulse of silence. We all felt it.
The encore wibble wobbled, yes that's right, wibble wobbled back and forth between City / Alarm, started with two drummers and two guitars for "Sunday." I looked for people who would mouth the lyrics 'when your still strung out', and hoped that they pointed at each other, since rumor has it ALL citizens of Seattle are plunger pushers. I myself find that statement to be false, but according to recent reports on the internet, everyone in Seattle has tried heroin at least twice.
"Sunday" also is ironic because the show was on the day of the week with that same name. Also, Sunday is on A Weekend...In The City, available now on iTunes.
"She's Hearing Voices". Midway during the middle part of the first half when Kele is muttering incoherent threats with the guitars creeping and lights burning my eyeballs I swear I couldn't function properly. 'Hey hey hey' the shouting repeated 'hey hey hey!' The crowd was very alert, I must say. They knew both the old songs and the new. The Party shook us into a frenzy of smiles. It was a really fun night you guys. I'm so serious.
"Uniform" is a treasure. Again, with lyrics like "We're so handsome/tell me a joke" we must make a Morrissey comparison, if only for the sake of smarm. When this dazzler launched into the madness at two minutes and twenty-six seconds in, every pair of feet in that chunky meat arena were shakin' bacon like nobody's business. Yes, shakin' bacon. Good vibes from the audience of kiddos, young tykes that were there to see Smoosh, the hometown set of girls. Little blond sister girls. They opened for Pearl Jam before. On Pattern 25 records. 'All the young people looked the same'...slow fade.
And the closer, the final sound blaster, goddamn "Helicopter", that snazzy bitch can do it to me any day. Unfortunately you might remember the explosive guitar opening from your television set selling automobiles. 'Running on bravado.' The lights snapped and the bodies flopped back and forth it was a collective motion to be reckoned with.
I captured the closing moments of this very horny performance. The rush of aroused people who swam up Pine was quite a riptide. Bloc Party made a smart choice to start the tour here, tonight, with us. We like them well. The boys were all smiles, Kele's exuberance brought the dead to life, events like this are memory special. Bloc Party shall not be added to the list of the forgotten. Energy youth and talent are very dangerous attributes for any artist. A pair of vitriolic contributions to the music world in the form of brilliant recordings is a very rare thing. I Still Remember Bloc Party.
Sunday March 11, 2007
Paramount Theater, Seattle America
Song For Clay (Disappear Here)
Hunting For Witches
Waiting For The 718
I Still Remember
This Modern Love
So Here We Are
Like Eating Glass
She's Hearing Voices
By Jason Anfinsen
JASON ANFINSEN is a professional noisemaker who has created weirdo comedy for radio, theater, and print since 1995. He is the writer/performer of the acclaimed solo shows "Popularity Contest" & "Fun Factory," contributing writer for Redefine Magazine & The Tripwire, and author of the books Stab At Sleep & Juke All Over Your Face. He is the founder and artistic director of Jerk Alert Productions, an independent theatrical revolution responsible for some of the freshest theatricals, books, and parties on the planet. He lives in the Bellevue Mental Hospital in Seattle America 2007.