The seven-piece collective (8 in concert) Los Campesinos! brought their shambolic energy and trademark glockenspiel to a packed Metro last night. Touring in support of their 2010 release Romance Is Boring they ripped through a brisk 15 song set that while enjoyable was a little toothless.
Frontman Gareth Campesinos! hopped and swayed merrily playing the glockenspiel, but for 8 people making noise I thought the guitars were sorely buried in the mix. As this was my first time seeing Los Campesinos! I was hoping to hear as many tracks as possible from their debut Hold On Youngster… This desire was satisfied and the crowd jubilation exploded upon the first notes of the (in)famous ‘You! Me! Dancing!’
Of the newer songs, ‘Straight In At 101’ was a highlight with its fantastic opening couplet, “I think we need more post-coital and less post-rock. Feels like the build-up takes forever but you never get me off.” Unfortunately I lament the fact that Los Campesinos! may never be able to shake the gimmicky nature of their sound. Despite interesting lyrics it is hard to take these guys and gals seriously. I admire them and applaud the enthusiasm shown onstage, but it might be time to abandon the signature glockenspiel and over the top vocal affectations.
Opening the show was New York’s Cymbals Eat Guitars. Their debut album won them much adoration so seeing them live made one thing clear, singer/guitarist Joseph D’Agostino is a force to be reckoned with. His guitar work was outstanding and his vocals sprayed saliva into the mic unlike anyone I have seen before. There is an unmistakable similarity between D’Agostino’s delivery and that of the legendary Paul Westerberg.
Their set lasted 40 minutes and was drenched in feedback, but I honestly prefer the looser jangly moments as heard on the song ‘Indiana.’
Los Campesinos! Setlist 4/30/10
1. I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know
2. Death To Los Campesinos!
4. A Heat Rash In The Shape Of The Show Me State; Or, Letters From Me To Charlotte
5. There Are Listed Buildings
6. Romance Is Boring
7. You’ll Need Those Fingers For Crossing
8. My Year In Lists
9. Straight In At 101
10. This Is A Flag. There Is No Wind
11. You! Me! Dancing!
12. We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
13. The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
14. Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks
15. Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats