Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Show Review - AA Bondy with Conor Oberst - Mr Smalls 7/12/09 - Concert Review

We showed up to Mr Smalls before the doors opened so we could try to get a decent spot in the crowd. But this was a sold out show and Conor fanatics were abound circling the old church 15 minutes (when we arrived) before doors opened. It was a very young crowd with probably 70% being under the age of 21. Instead of waiting we hit up the Double L beforehand to get ready for a packed house.

Deap Sea Diver was the first to come on stage. I wasn't familiar with them...they were from Long Beach, CA and had a female lead and a 3 person backing band. They were evidently pretty new as all they had was an ep for sale. I was really enjoying their tunes and the crowd seemed pretty enthused as well. Afterwards I looked them up and found out the lead has actually put out 2 solo albums before and was touring guitarist for Beck.

AA Bondy was up next...after seeing him at Club Cafe I was curious how he would translate to a group of teenage Conor lover's from Pgh. Not to my surprise the crowd was very enthusiastic to his songs even though a majority probably hadn't heard him before that evening. He started off solo with his harmonicas and guitar and launched into a few tunes from his upcoming lp "When The Devil's Loose" including the title track. There was some banter going on with him and some of the crowd members in the front but I couldn't make out was being said (or for that matter what was being said during songs with all of the bands). When Bondy launched into "Vice Rag" with the opening lyrics "Sweet, sweet cocaine/Won't you be all mine" the 2 women (way older) next to me started laughing and then went into a 2 minute conversation about if they had any of their stash left. After about half is set Bondy brought out 2 members of Conor's band, one on drums and the other on bass. It definitely added a layer that kicked the set into another gear. However, on a few of the songs I felt the drummer was pushing the pace too much breaking up the song.

Bondy put on another impressive set and surely made several new fans. Conor came on next...
**Thanks to Hugh for the pic.