Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Notwist (at Webster Hall)

Webster Hall is not my favourite concert venue. It's too big, too gaudy, and too club (you can even see the disco ball hovering up by the ceiling, waiting to be lowered for the bridge-and-tunnel crowds that flock there on the weekends). So when people ask if I want to go to a show there, I often give a knee-jerk no.

Except I had never seen the Notwist (pronounced "no-twist" and NOT "not-wist") live before. And I definitely gave their acclaimed 2002 album Neon Golden a fair share of rotation in its day. Their new album The Devil, You and Me hasn't grabbed me as strongly, but despite this I agreed to go to the show. (Actually in my absentmindedness, I asked two separate people to buy my ticket. Whoops.)

Their music, a blend of rock and electronic, sounds like it might could be a bunch of people pressing sample buttons on laptops. And so on Monday, expecting not that much, I instead received an incredible live rock show. The key to the Notwist, I realised, is their live versatility, being able to perform quiet ballad-like songs like "Gloomy Planets" while at the same time successfully delivering plenty of drum-and-bass stylings as in "This Room" (from Neon Golden). And so I found myself dancing during the fast songs and singing along to the slow ones, and being thankful that I had said yes to my friends for bringing me along.

CONSUMED: Webster Hall; New York

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