Sound Team, Cold War Kids, and The Preakness 7-20-2006 @ The EARL
I don't know if there's a backlash coming soon (see CYHSY, Tapes 'N Tapes, etc.) but when it comes to Cold War Kids, I have to say -- believe the hype. On Thursday night I saw them for the second time in two months, and yet again I thought they were simply great. While they weren't technically the headliner, they were clearly the biggest draw on the bill (alongside The Preakness and Sound Team) and brought the rock just as well or better than they did a month ago at the Drunken Unicorn.
The Preakness on stage at The EARL.
Bassist Tracy Clark of The Preakness.
The evening began with an impressive set by Atlanta upstarts The Preakness, who have recently been generating a solid local buzz. After starting their set with a slower (as yet untitled) new song, the band played a cover of Smog's "A Hit" before playing about a set of original songs including the "Frog Logic," "What They're Saying," and "This Drive" before closing with a rockin' version of "Don't Ask Me." The crowd was quite receptive to their indie rock/pop sound, which even inspired one individual to skank uncontrollably on the dance floor during (I believe) "Air Traffic." It was a veritable Preakness Boogaloo. Here's a snapshot of the complete setlist, as snagged from the stage:
While I very much enjoy The Preakness and did so Thursday night, the main draw for the evening was obviously Cold War Kids. While the room had been reasonably full during the Preakness set, when the L.A.-based Kids came on the size of the audience swelled and the crowd's gaze turned fully toward the stage. The band proceeded to play a 40 minute set that more than justified the attention they received.
The band began with the rollicking "We Used to Vacation" from their Up in Rags EP and continued to hold most of the crowd throughout their set. There were a handful of talkers who more than made their presence known (assholes...) but that's all too typical of Atlanta shows. The band played what already seem like old favorites in "Hang Me Up to Dry," "Saint John," and "Hospital Beds," all the while scampering all over the stage, exchanging instruments, and overall giving as much energy to the crowd as it could give back. I've rarely seen a band sweat so much on stage, although the warm room certainly contributed to the perspiration.
In addition to the material from their EP releases, Cold War Kids also played two new songs that they're working on during their current tour. The first, "Hat in Church," would fit in well on either of the recent EP's with its driving bass, spastic guitar, and Nathan Willett's distinct vocals. The other new song, titled "Make Up Your Mind," began as a slower number, picking up the tempo in its second half before peaking with a series of stop-start sections toward the end. I was told after the set that each of these songs are very much works in progress. Here's the complete setlist, as it looked at the feet of bassist Matt Maust:
Headliners Sound Team followed Cold War Kids, but played to only about half the crowd that had seen their predecessors on the stage. In a scene much like the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah/The National tour last year, much of the room cleared out after the second opener. Whether as a result of disinterest or the fact the show was running late on a Thursday night, it was a little disheartening to see the audience thin out. I can only hope it had nothing to do with Pitchfork's too-harsh review of their recent album (and there's your obligatory P'fork review mention). Regardless, I have to admit that I wasn't terribly attentive during their set either -- by the time they took the stage I was already on my downward slope after three hours at the venue and two great sets. Apologies for not providing a decent run-down of the Sound Team set. It was not unlike similar recent experiences with Starlight Mints and The Spinto Band when they were the third of three bands on the bill, so perhaps there's a lesson there of some sort. I'll have to listen to the tape again in the near future. Once again, here's the setlist from the stage:
For another take on the show and more pics, see The Yellow Stereo.
As noted, I taped. Shocking, huh? You knew this would show up here...
Cold War Kids
July 20, 2006
Taped and converted by Rich Vining
Taping: SP CMC-4's > batt box > Nomad Jukebox 3
Conversion: JB3 > Dell Inspiron 6000 > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 > CD Wav > mkwACT
02. Hat in Church*
03. Hang Me Up to Dry
04. Saint John
08. Hospital Beds
10. Make Up Your Mind*
11. Quiet Please! intro > Quiet Please!
* second time played
Those boys are good. I'll also seed the show in .flac format tomorrow, so check back if you'd prefer it in lossless format.
UPDATE 7/22: The .flac version can be grabbed via dimeadozen.org. I may be seeding intermittently through the day, but stick with it. If you do download it, please help seed.