Last Night Beestings @ The Comet, Velella Velella @ Nectar
posted by February 28 at 17:58 PMon
I wound up at the Comet to start a surprisingly busy Wednesday night, where local post-emo’sters Beestings were releasing their new album, Where It Goes. I’d been asked to go by friends and, having only heard a total of three minutes of their stuff on MySpace, decided to give it a shot. Beestings’ heavy-handed slow-mo-emo didn’t exactly win me over (set a quota on the use of “heart” in the lyrics, sheez). But the mom in the crowd—it’s no CD release without at least one older woman in a sweater, don’tcha know—was among the decent number of folks nodding their heads to the quartet’s slow, whiny heartbreak songs, and at the very least, Beestings took Grandy’s year-ago complaints about showmanship to heart. And their lead guitarist was pretty good…….at playing rhythm/bass lines. Too bad this ability often got buried in the band’s dependence on quiet-LOUD compositions.
Then my friends decided to bolt—presumably to lay in a hot bathtub while saying the word “heart” over and over and over—so I drove to Fremont and arrived in time for Velella Velella at the Nectar. Completely different scene, of course; V2’s gotten ample press for its acceptably danceable live shows, and last night’s attracted a surprising near-capacity Wednesday crowd. The scene was best summed up by the final song, when the song’s repeat requests for everyone to “get on up” resulted in this girl hopping the stage, grabbing a shaker and singing along quite well—dressed for the part, no less.
While I found myself nodding along throughout, one song mid-set amplified my ambivalence about the band. The track started out with an unnecessarily over-amped drumbeat playing on their iPod, and even though the band built a great mess of live melody around the track, it wasn’t until the iPod beat dropped out and the band began banging, clanging and beating their own implements that the song really came to life. The pre-produced drumbeats might’ve been easier to stomach if they’d come from a laptop with a nice sound card, if not a full-fledged drum machine. Upgrade, dammit, or at least hire the blonde.
While I’m at it, can I talk about the indie-rock line dance? You know, when lines form two-to-four deep in the front of a concert crowd, stare up at the band, and do the safe, boring, side-to-side dance? Seemingly in unison? V2 attracts ‘em like nobody else, and they make me feel like I’m in the middle of Beck’s “Where It’s At” video. Guh. I wish people would make up their minds—either lose your shit and dance, or hang in the back with me and the other boring wallflowers. Pick a side!