One of the weirdest shows I had the pleasure of watching was when The Rapture opened for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club three years ago. The two bands had grouped together for a one-off show before Coachella that year. There seemed to be such a sense of confusion in the audience as the dance punk kids who were there to shake it became intimate with the layered and sharp guitar enthusiasts who don't really move during sets. I remember standing there amused.
But memory is a funny thing. I also remember not being very impressed. The dudes from BRMC are from my city - so I had to represent, of course - but I recall badly wanting to drink and not being able to because I wasn't legal at the time. That, my friends, I would consider to be pretty hardcore. And bad.
Thus, it's a wonder what thirty-six months in between then and now did, because I stood before the outfit that is BRMC last night at the Fillmore on a sold-out floor and almost didn't recognize them. "Holy shit, when did they get so good?" I wondered out loud to myself as they ripped through selections from the album I liked them from, Take Them On, On Your Own, and now the new disc Baby 81. In the studio, I remember the guys being able to create a solid mixture of pristine guitar wails and a wall of strum fury, but live I hadn't (remembered) them sounding so tight, so flawless, and so badass. It just goes to show that sometimes, we don't remember everything.
Gems for the night included "American Sex," an amazing hybrid of shoegaze perfection and straight rock and roll, and "Weapon of Choice," which was one of the few tunes to showcase organ-like synth and piano-based rhythm. This admittedly threw me off at first but ended up being complimentary in the best of ways. The band didn't talk much to the crowd minus some thank yous here and there, but during the encore singer Peter Hayes and lead guitarist Robert Been each treated concert goers with two acoustic songs a piece, Hayes' even being in the dark: "Let's go into the darkness together, guys." I totally forgive the cheese statement - BRMC plowed through any misconceptions I may have had.
By Jenn Hernandez