Saturday, October 01, 2005

Great Expectations

New Model Army @ Southpaw 9/30/05
The openers (whose name I didn't catch) played a decent set of UK-inspired post-punk/shoegaze not unlike locals Longwave, though not quite as good. They definitely have a lot of potential and were much more enjoyable than many typical no-name openers, though.

Much like their previous trip here back in March (I saw the Maxwells show and they also played Southpaw the night before), New Model Army kicked ass and took no prisoners as they stormed through an hour and a half of their back catalog combined with 6 new songs from the just-released (and quite excellent, at least given what I heard at the show and aftewards when my friend played it for me in his car after he bought it) new album Carnival. Knowing only a few albums worth of their material, the parts of the set that were most pleasurable to me were the well-known and loved singles that they played during the 2nd half of their main set such as "No Rest", "51st State", "Here Comes the War" and "Poison Street" (played in the encore), but there was one song during the 1st half of the main set that absolutely killed because of the amazing drumming (I wish I knew the name of it; sigh).

It's just great to see a veteran band like NMA releasing new records and getting to tour the U.S. twice in one year (after not having played here with the full band for over 10 years) despite the public indifference and that's because of their hardcore fan base, who showed up in droves for last night's gig, dancing and singing along to virtually every song. It just reaffirms my faith that great music can exist without trends and can stand on its own merit as it gets passed down to fans from generation to generation and that's truly inspiring.


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