Les Savy Fav, Blonde Redhead, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire: Randall’s Island

When the last show of summer is October 6, the thought “hmm, global warming?” could give you pause – unless you’re among the golden youth at last Saturday’s indie pop idyll on Randall’s Isle. f*ck that worry sh*t – we went to see Les Sav Fav, Blonde Redhead, LCD Soundsystem, and Arcade Fire.

Had heard the new single, “The Equestrian” and liked it, but even I was surprised at how much I liked Les Savy Fav.

doing my research AFTER the fact, I learned: “The group’s original line-up, formed in 1995, all met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design.

The band is known for angular, abrasive guitar and bass melodies, complemented by singer Tim Harrington’s educated, poetic lyrics sung or shouted over the instruments. Harrington’s involved lyrics make broad-ranging academic references to such disparate topics as Stockholm syndrome, the architects of Carthage, and even palimpsests.”

’nuff said. Of course I like these guys!
btw: considering the amount of RISD peeps I know in NYC, I am beginning to suspect W’burg is actually a post-graduate dorm for these people. . . .

anyway, Tim Harrington indeed was fat, bearded, weird, oddly endearing, and changed his outfit about five times.

The BEST was the flesh-colored unitard covered w/”Visible Man” style tattoos.

The butt crack cling was a nice extra.

next up: Blonde Redhead. I’m just not a fan. The twin Italian bros are just a little too precious, and one reminded me unpleasantly of Geddy Lee’s falsetto in more’n a few spots. And the anguished writhy-girl w/”ethereal” voice bugged me, too – I just don’t get it. They’re named for a song by nyc’s DNA, and named one of their records “Misery of Damaged Lemons.” Also, with three people on stage, I kept wondering who was playing the bass I heard.

nota bene: the large horse in the photo is a reference to the Japanese singer’s unfortunate horse-trampling incident a few years ago. glad she recovered.

And my beloved LCD Soundsystem was up next! Yes, James Murphy looks a little like a frat boy.

But I forgive him. His goofy, shy delivery, frank admission of being so wiped from touring that he just about “bought it” by stumbling over a riser on stage, his joy at being back in nyc. Sigh. . . .

but randall’s was good enough for me. The crowd, who was mostly there for the apotheosis of Arcade Fire, their ascension into indie rock godhead, was taken off-guard by LCD’s invocation of sweaty dance but boy, when that mirror ball and the percussion got going, they danced. Turn the beat around, indeed.

And finally, with their huge troupe of members, 6 or 7 small projection screens, large projection screens, a giant pipe organ, and more changes of style and tempo (w/in a somewhat narrow range, still) Arcade Fire took the stage.

I like Arcade Fire. I can see why people LOVE them after this show. I like their bits of alt-country, (or is that alt-Canadian?) twang, their anthemic U2-sweep and reach, their spacious accommodation of members. I got their Neon Bible theme, of an American bible equal parts consumerism, religious illusion, general disillusion, . . . etc. They are good.

One of the singers wound up climbing the wall. If there had been any walls round the 25,000 in the field, the audience probably would have climbed up and sung with him — they put on that good a show.

I’m sure there’s youtube’s galore of this one out there. My advice: go find ’em!


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