Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Show Review - Apples in Stereo w/ Generationals - 4/17/10 - Morgantown, WV - Concert Review

I traveled to Morgantown this past Saturday to catch the Apples in Stereo with the Generationals. This was my first trip to see a show at 123 Pleasant Street. It’s an established venue with quite the history including a tale out of Unsolved Mysteries with an owner who vanished in the late 80's. It’s an enjoyable space with a long hallway and 2 long bars on each side. The boys from Delicious Pastries and Katherine also made the trek down.

If you follow the blog you know that I have hyped Generationals quite a bit, even placing them in my top 10albums this past year. I saw them 5 months ago at Garfield Artworks performing an abbreviated set. They were afforded about 45 minutes with this show. To be honest, they were disappointing. The songs they played sounded fine, but they never smiled or showed any enthusiasm, minus drummer Tess Brunet. The over all impression I and others felt was they didn’t even want to be there. They had a golden opportunity to connect with a hungry, half-enebriated audience when their amp blew out. It took about 8 minutes to fix, but instead of talking to the audience or playing a fan friendly cover they did nothing (again, minus Tess Brunet who told a joke). Maybe I hyped them up too much in my head. I hope they take some queues from frontman Robert Schneider and the rest of the Apples in Stereo who know how to entertain.

When the Apples in Stereo arrived for their set the 6 member band were decked out in cosmic outfits with some donning space glasses. Their new album (which just came out Tuesday) is called “Travellers in Space and Time” and they were fitting the part. Robert Schneider announced, “We are from the future.” before launching into one of their new songs. The crowd was ignited, bouncing up and down in full motion with the hook laden tune and visual backdrop. AIS were sporting three members on keyboards (including former Olivia Tremor Control’s Bill Doss) and the rest with the usual guitar, bass and drums. The three keyboardists provided a wall of sound utilizing vocoder and synthesizers to create the atmosphere of ‘space’ while distorting vocals on several songs. AIS was also agreeable with the crowd playing a set list that included such hits as “Let’s Go” and “Energy” while satisfying old time fans (a few in Elephant 6 shirts) with their catalogue before 2000.

Lead Robert Schneider is the most genuine, likeable guy in indie rock as anyone can attest to who has talked to him or watched his shows. He has an infectious personality when onstage that spreads to the crowd. This concert was no different as his energy created a raucous environment with audience members creating a semi-mosh pit of dancing in front of the stage. He also knows how to handle crowd members who get unruly. When one such member shouted over him between songs “You’re the best band in the world.” he just replied, “No we’re not, but thanks man, I really appreciate it.” Other band members displayed this same spirit with smiles and a sense that they loved what they were doing and wouldn’t change it for the world.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Morgantown crowd. They are definitely a fun loving bunch drinking their share of Black Label Beer (the PBR of 123 Pleasant St) which I had never heard of. Plus, they were openly smoking (*wink*) with no fear, having a grand old time. It was definitely an entertaining environment. I have seen AIS several times over the years, this being their best show. AIS stated that this was their first time in Morgantown and hopefully not their last.

**A special thanks to Courtney Holschuh of Ladybird who provided pics. You can find her work here.