I never got around to doing reviews of all of these shows from 2012, so I’ll provide some brief highlights via super belated mini reviews:
Fanfarlo at U Street Music Hall – Last time Fanfarlo was in town, they played at IOTA, which seemed to suit them better. They still put on a lively show, but the set was heavy on new songs early, which subdued the energy of the crowd. I like their latest album, but it was abundantly clear that the majority of the crowd wasn’t familiar with it.
The Postelles at U Street Music Hall – This was one of the few concerts of 2012 that I was disappointed with. I found the Postelles very underwhelming live. Their recorded work is better. It didn’t help their case that I went to this the night after the Gotye concert at the 9:30 Club which was one of my favorite shows of the year. It made them seem even worse by comparison.
Bouncing Souls at Black Cat – The Menzingers were very high energy . This was the third time I’ve seen BS live, though it was great to finally see them do a long set since I normally see them at Warped Tour. Every time I see them I’m disappointed that they don’t play “Roll On.” Then I remember that they don’t sing that song. The Living End do. Yet I always make the same mistake. Because I’m an idiot. Anyway, Bouncing Souls remind me a lot of Bad Religion in this live show, even though their styles of punk are different. Both lead singers have a nonchalance about them that is very amusing. Yet they sound fantastic and have really high energy. But you look at the singer and it looks like he doesn’t care at all. The best mosh pit of the fabulous 1.5 hour set was during “Here We Go.”
Times New Viking at Rock 'n Roll Hotel – They were opening for The Clean. Awesomely loud and aggressive music for such a small band. The drummer was shouting so loudly that he was practically swallowing the microphone in the process. I left halfway through The Clean’s set because I wasn’t that impressed. I like “In the Dreamlife You need a Rubber Soul” a lot, but otherwise am not as familiar with their catalog. They all wore old man shirts and awkward hats. It was just too much to take. And it couldn’t have been more different sonically than TNV. In a different setting maybe I wouldn’t have disliked it, but I was riding high on energy from TNV and The Clean was too big of a drop off to handle. So I called it a night early.
The Wombats at 9:30 Club – I went into this concert knowing exactly one Wombats song, “Let’s Dance to Joy Division.” But it’s a fab song so I figured they would be good. I was write. I have since caught up on their catalog. Everything they played was immediately accessible and enjoyable. Heavy on synths, very danceable stuff. I particularly enjoyed “Jump Into the Fog.” Setlist here. BYT review here. WLDC review here. 9:30 Club review here.
The Ting Tings at 9:30 Club – Similar to the Wombats show, I didn’t know many songs by the Ting Tings – just “Shut Up and Let Me Go” and the song about not knowing the girl’s name that was on the radio a lot last year. What convinced me to go was a concert on Palladia – V Fest or some such – that showed the Ting Tings play a song and they looked awesome live. I appreciated their versatility musically. The band is just two people – Katie White and Jules De Martino – but they hop around from instrument to instrument as Katie sings. Sometimes she’s on guitar and he’s on drums. Sometimes he’s on guitar while she’s operating a drum machine. It was all great fun. The only awkward part was the opening set by MNDA. The songs weren’t offensive by any stretch but they were very dance-y and no one was dancing. Not even a little bit. That combo always is awkward. As for the songs I knew, the Ting Tings played “Shut Up and Let Me Go” during their regular set and saved "That's Not My Name" for the encore. BYT review here. WLDC review here.