I almost feel guilty even posting anything about this show (which is why it has taken me so long), but I feel like I ought to at least give a quick run-down of the two opening bands. Myspace said 8 p.m. showtime; I need to stop ever trusting anything about myspace. So after a couple hours of nursing beer and digesting a Turner fish fry as the joint steadily filled up, The Trusty Knife opened the show some time after ten.
I'd seen the group once before, and it had struck me as total geek rock, stubbornly anachronistic, except for the requisite, often-tuneless indie yelp of frontman Zack Pieper. But maybe it was the apathetic, tiny crowd that night that made the set feel a bit stilted. Tonight, I was pretty bowled over by the funk; the packed crowd was totally spazzing along and the set was a pretty perfect get-this-party-started freak-out, complete with bassoon! And not just because wouldn't-it-be-weird; it actually really tied the groove together at times. It might have been a bit sloppier than the set at Linneman's last September, but it was way more fun.
We escaped the attic to grab a beverage downstairs, threw some Beefheart on the jukebox, and by the time Call Me Lightning came on, it was so packed on both floors you could barely walk around. We were treated to a couple of brand new songs; I couldn't tell you their names but they were a pretty logical progression from the material on 2008's brilliant Soft Skeletons--perhaps even a bit more poppy, but a bit more dynamic as well. Hard to tell, as this band exudes a heck of a lot of pure energy onstage, at least at this performance; this was the first time I'd seen CML. The closer was what I'd hoped the closer would be: an incendiary run through "Soft Skeletons". They had some equipment mishaps throughout the set but it seemed almost inevitable in the beer-and-smoke miasma of the bar. Overall it rocked.
Unfortunately, the crowd and the stifling vapors were too much for me and I had to bail out of Jail (sorry). But judging by the ebullient crowd, I can't imagine anyone involved walked away not feeling like the night was a success. And for the record, the new album, There's No Sky (Oh My My), is sounding really good so far. Go buy it.