May 29, 2008

Pela @ Bottom of the Hill

There are some concerts that highlight a band’s weaknesses, exemplifying that their music requires the tender, adjusting touch of the studio—which is fine. And then there are some shows that truly accentuate a band’s excellence and prowess. Pela’s performance at Bottom of the Hill on Wednesday night was most certainly the latter. They played their songs off of Anytown Graffiti, and a few new tracks, with such vigor and intensity that it was almost as if they were doing crisp punk covers of their own songs. And goddammit it was fun! I got a workout just watching the band members jerk, jump, and rampage around the small stage. Frontman Bill McCarthy (who is apparently originally from Santa Cruz, and injured his hand rockin’ so hard that he fell off stage onto a pint glass before their previously scheduled show in San Francisco) belted the lyrics with such a playful passion and energy that it was hard not to feel a little envious of how much fun the band was having on stage. This band’s live performance is a must see for both fans and the unacquainted.

Also, Pela was prefaced by two very commendable Bay Area acts—San Francisco’s The Love X Nowhere (who sound similar to a psychedelic Muse and/or Keane, with an impressive female drummer, guitarist and lead vocalist) and Oakland’s Audio Out Send (who’s live performance reminds me of an amped up R.E.M. sound, but that’s probably because of the vocal similarities). Anyway, I would definitely pay to see them both play longer sets.


awmercy said...

Glad to hear you liked Audio Out Send. I'm looking forward to hearing their new album. Ian's just finishing up the album art, so maybe it will be out soon. They're also getting a little blog recognition in the Bay Area scene.

Nightrain said...

Who knew? It seems like everyone is connected to everyone in this crazy business of music. Meeting the Pela guys was definitely very cool.

I have to admit, I just caught the tail end of Audio Out Send's set because I was coming from class and the Muni can be completely, irrationally slow sometimes, but that's a tale for another blog.

Anyway, awesome show all around.

Mona said...

I'm with you on Pela... never got into them until I saw them open up for Rainer Maria's farewell tour in Dec 2006... they were great live. Actually, the whole show was killer. Particularly because Mike Kinsella appeared from out of nowhere and played with Rainer, but that's awesome for a whole 'nother set of reasons... ;)