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Saturday, November 3, 2007

I just saw the Fiery Furnaces, and now my nose is freezing

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CONCERT REVIEW: Fiery Furnaces
November 2, 2007
Mr. Small’s Theater, Pittsburgh

Yes, that's my totally awesome cell phone photo from the show. This is going to be a somewhat uninformed review, because I barely know anything about this band. I’d heard exactly one song of theirs (My Egyptian Grammar) prior to the show tonight. But I went because they are a buzzworthy, brother-sister indie rock duo from Brooklyn. That’s good enough for me.

The show started off strange because the crowd was so sparse. It was the smallest crowd I’ve ever seen at Mr. Small’s – less than 100 people. But they had the air conditioning up high like usual, so my fingers and face were freezing. Nobody cheered when the band came out, because I guess a lot of us didn’t recognize them, and because Pittsburgh crowds are just lame in general.

The keyboard player was clearly thrown by the lack of enthusiasm and said sarcastically, “Hi. Happy Friday.” He wasn’t using a mike. And everyone could hear him. Despite the slow start, it got much better. Eleanor was (or acted) very happy and appreciative of those who did show up, and when the band really hit its stride (notably, during Clear Signal from Cairo), the crowd got into it.

I was very captivated by this group’s odd song structures and the contrast between the soft, melodic keyboard parts and the loud, hard-rocking sections. They struck me as a cross between Radiohead and the Dresden Dolls, who, by the way, just happen to be my two favorite bands. So obviously I’m hooked.

With most concerts, even when it’s a band I really really like, by the end I’m ready to go home. I’ve had my fill and I’m tired and I want to go to bed. But this was one of those rare shows that I just did not want to end. I’m looking forward to catching up on the rest of their catalogue.

MP3: Fiery Furnaces - My Egyptian Grammar


DJRainDog said...

What is it with all these bands that I've never heard, nor heard of (nor do I want to) and their supposedly being "buzzworthy"? Who are they, and why should I listen? I attempted to watch that Ghostland Observatory performance from Conan that you posted, and I'm sorry, but it was utter crap! The dude can't fucking sing! What the hell? Seriously. Maybe he should try a duet with someone equally talentless, like Britney Spears; she could even teach him a trick or two!

Scott said...

Yeah I don't think anyone listens to Ghostland Observatory for the singer's vocal prowess. They are a captivating live band, he gyrates around the stage in a rhythmic fashion unlike any male singer I've ever seen. That is not their best song, or their best performance.