Smith Westerns, Yeasayer, and Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt 6/18/11

My last Saturday night was so much fun! I got to see three bands, two of which were amazing. 

I started out at Terminal 5, and got there just in time for the Smith Westerns who opened for Yeasayer. Before getting to the show, my friend confessed to me that he was more excited to see Smith Westerns than Yeasayer. In fact he said, “I haven’t been this excited to see a band live in a long time.” Unfortunately for my friend, and for my ears, the Smith Westerns not only did not meet our high expectations, but were actually…bad. 

While we knew in advance that the members of the Smith Westerns were quite young, still teens, in fact, what we didn’t anticipate that this was a distraction. The lead singer, Cullen Omori, tried in vain to command the stage with his constant hair flips and wails into the microphone, which came off as insecure and immature. The band’s inexperience emanated through their poorly chosen setlist and sloppy vocals. Their performance was a huge disappointment. 

Thankfully, Brooklyn-based Yeasayer salvaged the night. Yeasayer’s highly polished and engaging performance was the foil to their opener’s. They had great lights, amazing bass lines, perfect amount of banter with the crowd, and Chris Keating’s vocals were as on point and beautiful as on the records. With a mixture of songs from both of their albums, as well as new ones, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a fan who left the show unsatisfied. There were opportunities to dance, as well as to close your eyes and let your mind wander through the keyboard, guitars, drums, and silky vocals of Keating and Anand Wilder. A fantastic performance, and a great way to end their world tour for Odd Blood.

After Terminal 5, my friend and I trekked back to Brooklyn to Glasslands where caught the end of the show for Northside Festival there that night. We got to see the infamous Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. They are definitely the most engaging band I’ve seen to date, and Glasslands was the perfect venue for their interactive show. The band members stood on the ground with the audience, taught the fans the necessary lyrics to sing along, got us all in for a group hug, and even passed out awards for stuff like VIP and “Most Honest Hips.”

Pulsing color lights and disco balls dominated the band’s aesthetic. What kept up the band’s energy was the persistence and pure happiness of lead singer’s Neil Fridd, as well as the gaping smiles of the rest of the band who clearly enjoyed every moment of the show. A sweaty Fridd climbed the Glassland’s balcony (below) with gusto. This delighted the crowd to no end. If Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt is in the city, I highly, highly recommend catching their performance. I kinda wish they could’ve replaced the Smith Westerns as openers for Yeasayer. That would be a dream BK show.

“[Thel ‘Vadam]’s already had [his grandest adventure]. Post-Halo3 he is a bureaucrat—a terrifyingly intimidating bureaucrat—but a bureaucrat nonetheless." 

- Frank O'Connor/Robt McLees (emphasis mine)


So much intimidation.

“[Jul] expected Thel ‘Vadam to round on him, but the Arbiter just snapped his jaws together a couple of times in amusement as if there was something he should have told Jul, but chose not to.”

- Glasslands pg 60

“‘Vadam walked over to the balustrade that separated the floor from the first tier of seats to look up at Jul. It wasn’t a threatening gesture. It seemed more like curiosity to see what this upstart, this young elder of a small keep, looked like at closer quarters.”

- Glasslands pg 61

“The Arbiter turned as if he hadn’t been expecting Hood so soon. Instead of waiting for Hood to come to him, though, he took a few steps forward to close the gap… And he actually held out his hand for shaking.”

- Glasslands pg 357-358

“‘My apologies for not receiving you, Scholar,’ [Thel] said. “You profess and interest in our culture. What can we show you?”

- Glasslands pg 425

“The Arbiter inclined his head ‘…The nursery analogy is complete, then.’ The Arbiter left. So he had a sense of humor after all.”

- Glasslands pg 425

Such terror.


In honor of Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn announcing it’s closing at the end of 2014 today, here’s a photo from one of MGMT’s many, many shows there (this one is from a secret show in 2009, with Caroline from Chairlift).

After some very unofficial counting off of the top of my head, I’m pretty sure MGMT has played at Glasslands more than any other venue, not counting their college shows.