Concert Review: Elephant Stone, Teenage Fanclub, September 23, Horseshoe Tavern

Ricky’s iPhone concert photography™. The trademark is for consistent blurriness.

Scotland produces great pop music. It’s a fact. Bands like Teenage Fanclub and Trashcan Sinatras that are still trucking after all these years are living proof that there is a way to age gracefully in rock ‘n roll. It always surprises me when older performers take the stage after a long hiatus to be met with gasps like “SHIT. They got OLD.” Newsflash! We are all always getting old. And yeah, the ravages of time are applicable to people we stop paying attention to. A Catholic Education was released in 1990–20 years ago. 20 years ago!

So, I’m impressed that after 20 years, the band is still releasing good material. I haven’t listened to this year’s Shadows, but if their performance of Sometimes I Don’t Need To Believe In Anything is any indication of what they are still capable of, the caliber is still there. I actually think some of their newer songs played better than some of the classics, maybe because of their freshness.

And a lot of the classics were still there throughout their set, even if the incredibly packed venue (full of very tall people standing around the stage)  felt the need to continually shout out things they wanted to hear. It was great to hear Alcoholiday live, but some of the older tunes played a lot better than others. One thing I was totally impressed by was Gerard Love’s consistency (and I always thought he was the strongest songwriter, penning some of the best pop love songs)–Don’t Look Back was probably the highlight of the show for me with the 3 minute mark jam tearing up the place. The lumping of consecutive slow songs kind of lulled everything down in spots, but there would always be a tail end favorite serving as a wake up call.

The decision to encore with two Howdy! songs in a row was something I wasn’t expecting, but I did think that Near You was one of the best songs of the night. I do think the decision to throw in a slower song off Shadows made people feel that by the time The Concept rolled around, there was a “finally” moment instead of a slow build to a “fuck yeah” moment.

Still, a great show.

P.S. What the hell was up with that guy with the tripod and video camera standing in the back area of the stage?!


Posted on by Allison in Concerts, Music, Reviews

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