Friendly Fires at El Rey Theatre | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 22nd, 2024  

Friendly Fires

Friendly Fires at El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, August 25th, 2009

Aug 25, 2009 Friendly Fires Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share


I don’t dance. I’m an arrhythmic white girl whose main goal—at most events—is to not put an eye out with my pen or notebook. Although, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to getting my (very) awkward groove on at last night’s Friendly Fires show. For the record: no writing utensil related injuries were sustained.

Between the energy of youth and the professionalism of a young band that recently nabbed a Mercury Prize nomination, Friendly Fires puts on a high octane show. While the grooves were presented as cleanly live as in their titular debut full-length, the guitar was rawer, the vocals louder, the dancing…dancier. It is also interesting to note that the set included phenomenally more handclaps than show opener, The Phenomenal Handclap Band. Choice percussion on loan, perhaps?

Halfway though the all-too-brief set, vocalist Ed Macfarlane took a break from his bandleader duties to announce, “I’m losing my voice so I’ll apologize…but we’ll keep going.” before adding with a laugh, “That sounds like a threat!” I’d love to take poetic license and say that after that comment the party really begun—but that would be a lie. The trio (who were also backed by a two-piece horn section) came out ready to rock—and as a result not one song in their lean set felt half-hearted or lacked energy.

Somewhere between the strobing multi-colored lights and gyrating crowd I still managed to jot down deep insights. On Macfarlane’s Mick Jagger-like strut: “dude can get down!!!” Of drummer Jack Savidge’s clearly loved kit: “sparkly!” Parents spend so much time worrying about the affects of drugs and alcohol on their child. But what about dance rock’s affect on the writer?

Despite the high quality and consistency of performance (I’ll go out on a limb here and say they’re one of the best live bands out there), the night ended with two distinct highlights. The first was set closer, single, and clear audience favorite, “Paris.” Funkier than the romance-laden album version, the song was expanded to accommodate clattery percussion, including guitarist Edd Gibson banging on a box. Appreciative, the audience chimed in, sweetly joining the band in choral duties. However, it was encore “Ex-Lover” that easily took the prize for best song of the evening. Stretched to twice its original length, Macfarlane was given adequate time to instrument hop—from keyboard, to guitar, to drums, to air drums—all before the band triumphantly strolled off stage. Had they danced into Los Angeles night, it would have been to the surprise of none.

Set List

1. Lovesick
2. Jump in the Pool
3. Strobe
4. In the Hospital
5. White Diamonds
6. Skeleton Boy
7. Kiss of Life
8. Photobooth
9. On Board
10. Paris

Encore
11. Ex-Lover

(www.wearefriendlyfires.com)




Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

KtownBboy
August 27th 2009
9:42am

Agreed. This was a dope show. One of the better I’ve been to in ‘09. Check out their performance of “Jump In the Pool” from the show.

<object width=“425” height=“344”><param name=“movie” value=“http://www.youtube.com/v/Il83g8-bkA0&hl=en&fs=1&”></param></param></param><embed src=“http://www.youtube.com/v/Il83g8-bkA0&hl=en&fs=1&” type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=“always” allowfullscreen=“true” width=“425” height=“344”></embed></object>

Online Tax Refunds
January 8th 2010
7:28am

Hi, I’m a full time college student. I was wondering whats the best way to go about my idea. Would it be possible for me to get a business loan perhaps with a co-signer even though I am unemployed.
Online Tax Refunds

Green Car
April 21st 2010
6:37pm

Had a really good time. If there was a band playing here that I wanted to see, the venue would encourage me to get off my butt and buy some tix.

Stock Update
October 20th 2010
8:40pm

Make sure to be knowledgeable about the system. Identify it gives you everything you need at the same time; test the features to get a feel of what the system can do for you. It is highly advised that the provider has free trial. You can get a chance to text it and study it’s capabilities as well as extra features.Stock Update