Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Futureheads at the Troubadour, 10/6/10

Long distance relationships are hard.  Not being able to see those you care about whenever you want is a strain, and it can make you want to just cut the cord to avoid the heartache.  But if you're patient, you will be rewarded.  The last time I got to see The Futureheads was in the summer of 2006, and at times the longing was almost too much to bear, but I'm glad I waited it out.

This band's live act is what initially turned me onto them, back at Coachella 2005, so it seemed particularly cruel that their lack of popularity in the States would prevent me from experiencing it for so long.  But as they took the Troubadour stage it felt like no time had passed at all.  They still spent maybe just a little too much time cracking wise between songs (to the grumbling irritation of a few around me who wanted them to get on with it), and they still had the same level of frenetic energy that's been one of their chief selling points from the beginning.  They kicked it off with the title track from this year's awesome return to form, The Chaos, then boomeranged back to one of their earliest songs, "Decent Days and Nights."

They mostly ignored their middle two records, though we did get "Work is Never Done," a great showcase for sometime lead singer Ross Mallard and my personal favorite from This is Not the World.  Usual lead singer Barry Hyde sounded great, and the layered backup vocals and harmonies that are the band's signature were in full effect.  In the end, it seemed appropriate that they focused so much on the first and the last, since those two albums are the best examples of everything that makes them such a good band.  My only complaint was the relative brevity of the set, but it was an exhilarating, throat-destroying night of singing along at the top of my lungs, a welcome return for one of my favorites.

Set List: The Chaos / Decent Days and Nights / Heartbeat Song / Meantime / Struck Dumb / Robot / I Can Do That / Sun Goes Down / Skip to the End / Work is Never Done / The Beginning of the Twist / Carnival Kids / Hounds of Love / Jupiter

Encore: Le Garage / The Connector / Man Ray

Photo by Max Ritter

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