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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Have Nothing but Wonderful Things to Say About Yesterday’s Ted Leo Show

posted by on April 18 at 13:07 PM

Last night at the Showbox, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists delivered the best TL/RX show I’ve seen since the band played at El Corazon when El Corazon was still called Graceland. They were spot-fuckin’-on. The crowd was pumped, dancing and singing along to every word, and the band was on fire. In the end my body ached from an hour or singing and dancing and I smelled like other people’s sweat, but man… it was so worth it.

(Haters can exit this gushing post by clicking here.)


The band opened with “Sons of Cain,” the raucous opening track on Living With the Living. Halfway through the song there’s this really great three seconds of pounding piano, which I knew I’d dearly miss during the live performance (band doesn’t travel with keys). But instead of omitting the moment all together, James Canty (who is touring with the band as a second guitarist) hit this great quick and spiraling guitar riff that set the crowd off.

He dedicated “Bottle of Buckie” to the Death Cab boys (who he toured with last year), he made “Walking to Do” Seattle-specific by singing “from the Teapot to the Globe” instead of the usual lyrics (the crowd roared, of course), he went on a goofy diatribe about his desire to be sponsored by San Pelligrino water, going so far as to speak a little Italian to prove he’s right for the job (h-o-t), and he even wore those white jeans I mentioned in this week’s Stranger Suggests.

I have only one complaint, and that is that the wickedly aggressive song “Bomb.Repeat.Bomb” didn’t work all that well live. I expected it to be huge—loud, nasty, and explosive. It was sorta just… eh. But their energetic performance of “Me and Mia” made up for it; during the chorus—”Do you believe in something beautiful? Then get up and be it!”—it felt like the entire crowd threw their hands in the air and sang along at the top of their lungs. In fact, before the encore, he praised the audience for being so lively, and even said we were the best they’ve had all tour. Bands say that to all the cities they play; I think he really meant it.

I really wanted to hear “Ballad of the Sin Eater” and ” La Costa Brava,” and I had shamefully high hopes that Ted was going to treat us to his version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” but even with those songs MIA, I couldn’t have made a better set list if the man asked me to. Unless I just tagged 15 or so more songs on the end because I really didn’t want him to stop.

It was pure happiness.

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Love the Haters link ;) I was debating to go, and then I saw the Essex Green were playing the Crocodile! I was almost out the door and then I got in such a tizzy. I've recently gone into debt for buying a plane ticket to New York to record an album, so I freaked, and stayed in. i called a friend who i hadn't spoken to in a while, which felt good. Sounds like the show was a blast. Thanks for the Review!

Posted by Rock on! | April 18, 2007 3:43 PM

im sorry, and i love ted leo (modern day elvis costello/paul weller ... by modern day, i mean, not boring), but nothing he does can ever beat the work that he did on the last CHISEL album. highly underrated, and i will bet that most of his contemporary fans have never heard the chisel stuff. yep, so good.

Posted by kevin jones | April 19, 2007 3:54 PM

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