Ok Go, Silversun Pickups
Orlando, Fla. • March 20, 2007
The Snow Patrol tour was as much about opening acts Ok Go and Silversun Pickups as it was about the Irish headliners. With such a strong trio of indie rock acts, the Orlando date at the Hard Rock Live was a quick sellout, and so to the many fans left in the cold on this crisp Tuesday night I must regrettably say: you missed a great show.
Show starters, and heirs to the Smashing Pumpkins throne, Silversun Pickups had played an in-store performance at Park Ave CDs earlier in the day. After witnessing their magnetic force onstage, I was absolutely kicking myself for not heading down to my favorite little record store to have caught this intimate set. Silversun Pickups have very quickly become my favorite new band. The guitar slinging of frontman Brian Aubert combined with the gracefully aggressive drumming of Christopher Guanlao is offset by the quiet keystrokes of Joseph Lester and the Kim Deal-like posture Nikki Monninger adopts on the bass. All of this adds up to an undeniably perfect 30 minutes of music that had me screaming for more. After gifting the crowd with songs like “Lazy Eye” and “Well Thought Out Twinkies,” I found I was not alone in my hero worship.
The last time Ok Go played Orlando, vocalist/guitarist Damian Kulash found himself awaking the following morning in a jail cell. He toasted the one-year anniversary of this debacle (he was arrested for signing autographs, and so creating a commotion, on Disney property after their show at the House of Blues) by breaking open a bottle of red wine at the start of the set.
The band’s cheeky brand of pop was a big draw for a wide portion of the audience. They played through a set similar to the one they did a year back, including “Invincible” and their fantastic cover of “Don’t Bring Me Down” by ELO. They did switch up the end of their night, surprising everyone with large, inflatable dancing figures (the kind you see outside of car dealerships and store grand openings) instead of their expected choreographed dance.
The imported men of Snow Patrol are on their way to translating their fairly mellow sounds into large, arena-ready soundscapes. Think Coldplay with more guitar and no piano. Frontman Gary Lightbody has a quiet intensity that is understated, but when he speaks between songs, people listen, even if it’s just to say they’re enjoying the warmth of Florida.
Straight from the start they dove into a newer tune, “Chasing Cars.” Rather than feeling jilted by the new, less familiar song, the crowd cheered as if this newborn tune was the one they came to hear. I later found out that this song is featured on the soundtrack to Grey’s Anatomy, so once again a band’s involvement with a television show helps boost them up, up, up the charts.
Not that this band needs much help on their road to stardom. This is a group who, if they play their cards right, could be headed for the bigtime — just like their home-country heroes, U2.
To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com.