Sunday, July 24, 2011

30. White Denim at the Granada Theater, 7/23/11

30. White Denim, at the Granada.

False advertising: note total lack of white denim

The headliner of Gorilla vs Bear fest, White Denim, got about half an hour to perform thanks to Preteen Zenith's late start. A classic foursome, they played loud bluesy post-punk Rock And Roll.  No, really loud.

Seriously, it was loud.

Assured, clearly at home on stage and working well together, White Denim played frenetic New Rock, sounding a lot like an Americana-fueled Foo Fighters.  They had more chops than a Chinese restaurant (zing!).  Loud shouting urgent nasal vocals carried along and under thundering walls of brawny percussion.  Fast blues-based guitar riffs, repeated to build a sense of urgency and power.  Our ears were bleeding, but in a good way.

It's worth noting that despite this music being the loudest thing since Krakatoa, the sound was not muddled or distorted.  The intricate basslines and the pounding drums were clear and crisp.  Granada's sound guy really knows what he's doing.

Over the course of this Project, we've seen a lot of acts that played genres we wouldn't normally have been interested in.  One of the lessons of these shows is that the real power of music is the ability to just be so transcendent that it doesn't matter whether you "get it," but whether it affects you or not.  White Denim doesn't play R's genre of choice, but he was moved by their vigor and dynamic energy.  N, typically a fan of Snarling Punk Stuff, was more in his element and certainly enjoyed the music, but unfortunately the briefness of the set, the lateness of the hour, and the cochlear-melting volume made for a less than stellar showcase for White Denim.

In sum: White Denim is a tight-knit, talented band with a lot of ferocious energy.  A fine example of punk-based indie rock.  We didn't feel entirely at home with the loudness.  And as you know, if it's too loud...

Your blog authors: left to right, N and R.

(By the way, a Google image search for "two old guys" resulted in a depressing amount of pictures of guys our actual age.  Thanks a lot, young people.  You just wait.)

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