This weekend I went and saw Actionslacks and You Am I. Twice. Once in SF at the always amazing Bottom of the Hill and once in LA at the always intimidating Spaceland.
The bands were stellar each night, but waaaaaay more stellar on Saturday in the Bay. Perhaps because the audience was excited and into it? No, bands don't really feed off the energy of the crowd, do they?
The Bottom of the Hill was packed on Saturday night, with fans and friends and people wanting to have a good time. Actionslacks blistered through a 45 minutes set which included stuff from their last 3 albums (including "One Word" which hasn't had much representation in the last few years...). Arms were pumping, people shimmied... They had only played one show in the last few years, so to see them this electric and spot on was fantastic. "Self Conscious Spiel," "This Damn Nation," Joan of Arc:" it all kicked ass, basically.
(Slacks at Spaceland. Rockin'.)
Then You Am I. I've seen them 6 times now in the last 6 months. Before that, I think I saw them twice over the course of 10 years. Um... they don't come to the States that often. The SF show was on fire. There was a sweaty, crazed throng of people going absolutely batshit in up front, and I was certainly one of them. They took "Detroit Rock City" into "Rumble," a move guaranteed to shake even the sturdiest of audience members, which it did. They busted out "Trike" and Tim Rogers flailed out screaming for "Thank God I've Hit the Bottom..." It was nuts. People were nuts. The band was nuts.
I LOVE it when that happens.
Los Angeles was good too... you just have to contend with crowds that cannot be pleased. Bands will beg crowds to dance or clap or something, only to be met with stares. Sometimes people get into it, but usually, they just like to watch.
The stage show was about the same, perhaps not as intense since the crowd was not as intense either. Tim Rogers did have alot of wacky stage banter, half of which I didn't understand. He was drinking from the same bottle of wine as the night before, which I found kinda funny. There were about 3 or 4 people going absolutely batshit up front, and I was one of them. He did "Gone" and then "Damage" with an acoustic to start, and the band kicked in halfway through the latter, and it was good. Very good.
(from the You Am I site.)
Now for some reason, I developed a crush on Andy Kent, the bass player, while at SXSW. After the show as I was leaving, he was outside talking to some guy and they were winding up their conversation. I thought about stopping and saying hi, but I didn't. I don't need to meet my rockstar crushes, after all. Might ruin the illusion. I crossed the street and then glanced back... and he had gone alongside the building behind this tree and was taking a piss! Oh well. My momentary crush was over.
But it was still a great show. Can't wait till next time!