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Silversun Pickups w/ Midnight Movies – [Live]

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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Things looked grim for those who failed to buy tickets in advance to the Fillmore on Friday night, as people endured the cold air of San Francisco in hopes of finding their way into the venue. The Silversun Pickups had come to town and as expected, sold out the historic concert hall.

Inside, those who were lucky enough to get in to see their indie/hipster heroes, watched as The Happy Hollows surprised the crowd with deep ability. Next, Midnight Movies wooed the audience into a sense of ease with the melodic voice of lead singer, Gena Olivier. Her band comforted the crowded room with songs befitting a film soundtrack (as much as I hate to make that obvious connection). Olivier proceeded to saddle up behind the drum kit on the last couple of songs for some impressive beat making, as a flute emerged at the front of the stage for a tribute to the creepy, Moody Blues hit, “Knights In White Satin.” Laughing, I enjoyed hearing the sounds of a song that had scared the crap out of me so many times. With an energetic finish, Midnight Movies quickly vacated the stage as onlookers waited for their boys (and girl) from Silver Lake to arrive.

SSPU strolled on stage, marveling at the approval they received, as they ripped into the instrumental collage of “Melatonin” and motored through the first couple songs of their set. They hit their guitars, drums and keyboards with force in “Well Thought Out Twinkles,” and I started to worry that they wouldn’t get a chance to take a break. I wondered when lead singer, Brian Aubert, was going to slow down and say something to his devoted followers (mostly because I wanted to hear what he sounded like when he wasn’t singing), but he and his band looked like they were having too much fun playing. Stopping merely to introduce himself to those he hadn’t met yet, he later explained his purpose in San Francisco that night was a means of giving back to the city that gave rise to his band’s first single, “Lazy Eye.” Then, the tender chord progression of this aforementioned hit sent shivers down the spine of yours truly.

Aubert relished in the spotlight of his adoring audience, as keyboard player, Joe Lester, hunched over his instruments like a mad scientist. Drummer Christopher Guanlao let his hair swing around wildly as his sticks crashed upon the drums and Nikki Monninger strummed her base in a manner that looked effortless. If there were any doubters to the appeal and talent of this band, they weren’t in this multi-chandeliered room.

A band with true chemistry, SSPU seem to still be figuring out just how to react to their ever-growing body of believers. Aubert and his band played with a cohesive energy rarely seen, but the group seemed to be caught up in their own world, giving little to stage presence. That said, SSPU put on an unbelievable performance and I truly believe that the next time I go see them, they will be 10 times better than they were on Friday night. Aubert did a lot of dancing and good, tempered howling on stage, working the crowd with excitement, but I feel like even he could jump it up a notch. They are a group well on their way to mega-stardom, and when they go to tour the new album Aubert hinted was in the works, I’ll make sure I get my tickets early.

Carnavas is out now on Dangerbird Records.

For more on Silversun Pickups, including more tour dates, click here: www.myspace.com/silversunpickups

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