Monday, June 19, 2006

Pinkertones / Goldfrapp

I´m Dancing as Fast as I Can
Sonar Festival, Barcelona, Spain

Again we will cover two shows from the Sonar festival, both day and night. First up is The Pinkertones, a band I stumbled across on MySpace a couple of months ago and have been smitten with ever since. They are in the doomed first slot of the day festival, which is attended by far fewer people than the evening concerts. And they´re in a tent where people usually sit around and smoke, barely paying attention to the DJ.

The boys remind me a little of OK Go in that they are all about stage presence, they weave in some choreography, and they instantly get the entire crowd on their feet and moving around. This is an accomplishment for a crowd that was up until 5am. The people here love this band, and by the end of the first song they are dancing which as you know makes me very happy.

One audience member dances and sweats his butt off then VERY considerately has his friend spray a fresh batch of deodorant under his arms. Oh and hey you know those haircuts that all the rocker boys started getting a few years ago? Like a modern mullet? Well, the girls in Europe all have them now. I´m calling it the Groupie Do, and astonishingly it works well on most gals here, provided they combine it with High Fashion.

Advance ten hours and ten miles, and we´re at the big opener to the Saturday shows for Sonar. I met a guy in a shop earlier today who poo-poo´d the Saturday shows as too big and commercial, opting instead for the unknown gems of Friday night. I say at least I´ve heard of some of these people.

Goldfrapp is first, and based on all accounts of their Seattle show, they did pretty much the same thing. The hot outfit, the hair-blowing fan, the incredible light show. The people crushed to the front of the stage are having a fantastic time, but there are hundreds of others on the periphery who are thinking, "I am far too drunk to enjoy this right now," so they keep a safe distance.

In terms of crowd dynamics, I´ve gotta say that the smaller tents win out over the gigantic convention halls. While the bigger venues provide more opportunities for the band to create a showy spectacle, their performance can come across as removed from the people who are supporting them. In smaller places there is more at stake for everyone involved, and higher stakes can lead to a scintillating show. Pinkertones win this round.

Fashion **
Scene ***
Band:Audience Rapport: ****
Audience Focus: ****

Fashion *
Scene ***
Band:Audience Rapport: *
Audience Focus: ***


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