Intrepid mysterious Special Guest Star The Paper went in search of good live sounds, and the following is what transpired when he took in Los Campesinos! at the 9:30 Club.
Los Campesinos! is fun.
Gareth recounted to the crowd that it's been five years since the band played most US cities, with a few exceptions at three years. DC fell into the latter but he instructed us to behave as though it had been five and the crowd happily obliged. Many sang the chorus together for every song and the bass player was not immune. In fact, Matt would sing along to entire songs in a manner befitting someone holding the mic.
Crying played beforehand, and their 8-bit/chiptune-infused emo pop was just as catchy as the Welsh seven piece. Gareth mentioned them because they jokingly jeered at his accent in saying "thank you" and he wanted to inform the crowd that if he appeared rude, that was why. And in the spirit befitting the aethesthetic of peasants, he closed that song with "cheers."
After an hour of play, Gareth started to reach for his throat at times but the band carried on for a few more songs which I found endearing. Shortly after, sitting on the drum kit platform, Gareth graciously took time to give a thank you speech. Among everyone he thanked, he lauded Infinity Crush, the opening band, for releasing one of the best records of last year. At the conclusion, upon asking if he missed anything, someone shouted out "fuck Trump" to which he replied with a quick, neutral "sure, that's fine."
Getting the crowd to pretend it was Saturday* night with him, Gareth announced that they would play three songs for the encore. "One for you. One for us. And one for you to choose to prove that democracy still works!" All the peasants rejoiced. One lucky peasant in the front row, Casey, was invited onto the stage where he was given a tambourine and drumstick to play with the band. Gareth, not to be left out, grabbed a stick himself and joined the drummer in crashing cymbals. Los Campesinos! is all about fun!
*it was Thursday
[words and photo of Los Campesinos! by The Paper]