Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nylon Summer Music tour- Third Act: Living Things

I hadn't realized I knew the music of Living Things until about half way through their set. They're on Sirius XMU often, and their song "Bom Bom Bom" was featured in a commercial (I think, for the Ipod? or some cell phone... hmm not a very good sign for the effectiveness of music in advertising, eh?)... ANYWAY as the crew set up the equipment for the Living Things I noticed a musical instrument lineup I seldom see... the guitar, the mic, the drum kit, and the bass were all lined up in a row right up front. This, to me, symbolizes a certain level of respect and courtesy towards all the band members, it tells me that they are all equals- that each member contributes the same amount of input and creativity. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I will go with it as I feel it is a symbol of unity most rock bands refuse to acknowledge. It is a Utopian concept, for sure, one I haven't seen since the Violent Femmes (and since they've broken up- I guess we just have more evidence as to why communism would never work?).

All the members are male. All the members wear black. They all carry a certain air of seriousness. Their outfits were tight fitting and comprised an acceptable amount of black leather. They all wore stylish boots. Their hair was carefully coiffed. Yes yes, they were "good looking" in that hipster trash chic kind of way that I both LOATHE and secretly find myself attracted to. Despite their very accentuated fashionista looks- one fact remains... they put on a jolly good show! Their songs were catchy, with just enough of that reliable rock edginess that I require. A big plus for me was that the songs definitely didn't sound alike regardless of the fact that I barely knew them as a group. The drummer was vivacious and a total powerhouse, the bassist was mysterious and alluring, and the guitarist was cocksure without being a douche about it. The lead singer, whose name I've learned is Lillian Berlin evoked the spirit of Mick Jagger whilst drinking as he eloquently put it "Total SHIT" (also known as House Merlot). He had fun with the audience, and the audience had fun with him.

The most memorable moment of this singer/audience interaction came when he commented on the gorgeousness of the women all lined up in the front row. Though he admitted it was a tad cliche- he simply couldn't help himself, and, considering I was one of the woman in the front row I can't really blame him. He complimented a young ladies sequined teal vest only to have her offer it up to him for a much needed "splash of color". As he slung it over his own black vest, he invited the woman and her lovely young female comrade onto the stage to dance- while he took their spots down below and sang from there. When the song ended- he made a VERY astute observation- "I think I like the view from down here with them up there MUCH better!". The girls stayed on for a spell dancing and having, what I'm sure will be one of their most memorable concert experiences of their lives. Living Things are certainly worth a listen, and are DEFINITELY worth catching live.

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