Bloc Party at the Pabst
You could say I am a Bloc Party concert connoisseur, having seen the British band about six times since 2005. So I will say this: the band seemed pretty hyped to be playing for the first time ever in Wisconsin. (With the help of a couple of Red Bulls and a Pokemon stuffed toy onstage.) They played at the Pabst on Tuesday with the same fervor, the same moves.
So maybe it was just me, but for some reason the crowd didn’t seem to be as excited as the band was.
I’m not talking about the lower level, where everyone was on their feet from the first strains of “Positive Tension.” But the second floor wasn’t packed as I thought it would be, and the no one was at the third level of the Pabst.
Or maybe it’s just that I wasn’t used to NOT seeing everyone dancing their brains out at a Bloc Party show.
Or maybe at a certain point, I reached a saturation level for Gang of Four-like, dance punk derivatives. (Case in point: I can’t listen to Franz Ferdinand anymore, ever.)
I bumped into the kids from the New Loud at the lobby and they said Bloc Party sounded like the Cure without the catchy refrains.
Still, Kele Okereke, the indiest boy in indie rock (he’s black, he’s gay, he plays guitar in a dance-punk british band — come on, it’s unrefutable!) killed it. He’s so photogenic, he makes this wolf t-shirt look super hot, making the audience hungry like a wolf.
Oh, and Final Fantasy, aka award-winning Canadian violinist Owen Pallett was insanely good too, looping oceanic sounds and singing into his violin pickups with gusto. A friend of mine called him “Andrew Bird Lite,” but I think he has his own quirky style. Stephanie Comilang, live artist and projectionist, provided the visual aids for the set.
Funny “only in Milwaukee” story: At Laissez Faire for lunch I noticed two hipster-esque Asians (one boy, one girl) and one white dude eating. You guys know what a rare sight that is in downtown Milwaukee. Then at the Pabst I recognized the girl as Final Fantasy’s projectionist. When I went to the merch table I met the Asian boy, Patrick Borjal, Pallett’s boyfriend.