Concert Review: Active Child, School of Seven Bells, September 15, Mod Club

Let me first qualify this review by explaining I just underwent major dental surgery. Half my face is frozen, I just cut my pinky finger opening a can of soup, and I’m about to pop two Tylenol 3’s once my local anesthetic wears off. In short

Now that we have that out of the way…

One of the greatest things about writing for the PM is that you often get to see potential realized. There is nothing that pleases me more than seeing a band’s potential; and there is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing them get the recognition they deserve, especially if it’s a slower burn.  Almost two years ago now, Brooklyn outfit School of Seven Bells opened for M83 on their North American tour. In fact that show was my very first review.

The sultry sisters returned last night, preceded by Bishop Morocco and another brownstone town band, the electronic-driven Active Child. I walked in as Active Child was playing their last song in their set, When Your Love is Safe, and was surprised at how polished they sounded live. I’d see these guys again, given the chance, and am sorry I missed most of their set. I just hope that next time, they won’t be playing to an eerily quiet crowd (not that I’m not always guilty of this myself).

School of Seven Bells were having some technical difficulties setting up their MacBook, but they played such a killer set I would’ve forgiven far more. All I can say is that their maturation has really surprised me…a lot of Alpinisms was great, but played a lot off of the electronic thing. If this show is any indication of where they might be heading in the future (or where Disconnect from Desire goes, I still haven’t listened to it), then we are in for a guitar-driven ride. It’s hard to believe that the band claims they are driven by lyrics first and music later, because Curtis’s guitar playing is really the centerpiece of their live show.

This guy can really shred it. And if you’re going to stand anywhere close to the stage, you had better come armed with earplugs (I didn’t)…

In fact, a lot of their set reminded me of the classic Simple Minds album, New Gold Dream. The ended with My Cabal and came back for an encore that I wish I could write about, but I’m starting to (simultaneously) drool involuntarily and prevent my head from hitting my keyboard at the same time.

Posted on by Allison in Concerts, Everything, Music

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