100 Shows of 2010 - #37: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart/Surfer Blood/Hooray For Earth @ Black Cat, 6/16/10

Once more during birthday week, I found myself at the Black Cat for another fabulous night of live music. This time, the shindig was totally sold out for LET faves The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, joined this time through by Surfer Blood and Hooray For Earth. It proved to be a night of very good vibrations, and was further sugary sweet icing on this girl’s birthday cake.

MINI RECAP: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart = Pop Perfection! Surfer Blood = Worth Hypery! Hooray For Earth = Scandalously Shimmery! Overall score: A-.

Ridiculous traffic and even more ridiculous misadventures in street parking conspired against me when it came to seeing first band Hooray For Earth. I was only able to catch a couple songs, regretfully. However, what I did manage to see was pretty darned wonderful. The (large, large) band cranks out a really cute, really sweet synthy pop sound. I was a big fan of their forays into boy-girl vocals, along with the peppy percussion and the sassy, shimmery synths. And bless their hearts, they all looked so happy up there on the stage! I do so love a band that looks like they’re having themselves a mighty fine time. I can definitely say that Hooray For Earth warrant further observation, and hopefully they’ll swing back around this way soon.

Blog darlings Surfer Blood were up next in the sandwich, and while not quite totally in love with them after seeing them live, I found their set rather enjoyable. They piqued my interest with the interesting drummer tactics, one standing and one seated. I do love my drummers, especially when they exhibit a little attitude behind their respective kit. The band as a whole came across as a little sassy, and I liked it. I was definitely into their feisty guitar riffage and danceable licks, along with their overall straightforward powerpoppage. And they slightly melted my icy heart a wee bit when they proclaimed, “Let’s Do Hugs Onstage!” and started hugging each other in the middle of their set. Aww. Band love makes me feel all squishy inside. All told, I can kinda see what all the kerfuffle is about when it comes to Surfer Blood. However, as a friend (who was once in a Weezer cover band) and I agreed, their cover of the Weezer classic “Undone (The Sweater Song)” was a tad anticlimactic and not quite full of enough gusto.

And then, it was time for one of my very favorite live bands, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Right away the New Yorkers were dazzling. “Contender” was up first, with Kip Berman's voice sounding even sweeter than I remembered. Seeing this band live just automatically puts a big smile on my face. The fantastic “Come Saturday” came next, all cuteness and fluffiness and inescapable catchiness. “Young Adult Friction” seems to be one of their strongest live songs, and I feel like I love it even more when it’s live. It’s got that extra saccharine bounce to it, without being cloying of course. More pop perfection followed, including the incomparable “A Teenager In Love”, showing off Kip’s breathy, excited vocals and their taut percussion. Something about this band captures the electric breathlessness of youth, and it’s so very beautiful to hear. “This is a song about love,” Kips muses, before launching into an utterly slaying version of “This Love Is Fucking Right” (my probable favorite TPOBPAH song, for right now anyway). It all sounded so very right, from older favorites “Stay Alive” and “Everything With You” to new songs (yay!) “The Heart In Your Heartbreak” and “Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now”. In my humble opinion, this band can do no wrong. They closed it all out with an unspeakably fabulous cover of “Be My Little Baby” with special guests from the two opening bands helping out. It was a total lovefest.

I’ve gotta give my local crowd a thumbs up for this show, because as the bands brought to our attention, this was the only sold out show of the entire tour (way to go, DC). Everyone left the show with smiles on their faces (because really, if you didn’t, you have no soul. It’s as simple as that). Friends, don’t hesitate to see any and all of these bands live when you can.

mp3: Come Saturday (The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart)


Popular Posts