When going into a VHS or Beta show, I expect to see one thing: sweaty hipsters showing off their "I'm feeling this and I don't care who sees" dance moves. Much to my surprise, this L.A. show was roughly a half full venue.
An L.A. crowd is very much a standstill one, especially on a Sunday night. It takes awhile to oil up their joints for some movement. Frontman Craig Pfudner pointed it out from the very beginning. He expressed his view on dancing to the audience, "Just try it. It's not that fucking hard!" Lots of people listened.
The band fittingly started with their album opener "Euglama." They continued with "Burn it all Down," my very favorite song off Bring on the Comets and then onto "You Got Me," my very favorite song off of Night on Fire. Both sounded excellent, and they've been on tour awhile, yet they didn't seem too tired, as most bands can get after a long stint on the road. The rest of the thirteen or so set consisted of a bevy instrumentals, dancey high hats, and disco waka-waka's galore. One tune was a gloomy, darker instrumental, where the lights turned blue and it brought down the atmosphere and it segued right into the super danceable "Alive." When the crowd needed it most, it came just in time. At this point, everyone wanted to dance. There was even the token drunk guy that jumped up on stage. He later got violently hoisted off the stage by security. The guards threw him off into the crowd as if it were a Metallica show. It seemed a little unnecessary, but hilarious nonetheless.
Title track "Bring on the Comets" was the last tune before the encore. An acoustic guitar made an appearance...at a VHS or Beta show, yes. When done live and acoustically, it sounded so tender. It closed out the show by relaxing it, instead of blowing our faces off.
There was a standard three-song encore that started with just the drummer, dramatically beating away with the seizure lights going off around him. That solo led into "No Cabaret!" By now, a lot of the audience had left, but the ones that stayed, stayed to dance. They continued with "Night on Fire" and shut it all down with their latest single "Can't Believe a Single Word."
The audience just wasn't amped enough. I blame it on the fact that the El Rey is a large venue, and people are more scared to dance in a larger space; as opposed to in a smaller venue, where everyone is "feeling it." I'm not going to include myself in that, because the little sect of people was moving around like idiots. Although the crowd was a little lackluster, at least the band wasn't.