Scratching your musical itch

Live: French Kicks w/Frightened Rabbit @ Mohawk 6.5.08

French Kicks

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photo : valerie@fremin.net

Having been a fan of French Kicks for a few years, but having never seen them live, I was looking forward to last Thursday’s show at the Mohawk. The band played a well-rounded set, mixing their older material with their newer stuff off of their latest release Swimming. The members switched between instruments often, especially main vocalist Nick Stumpf whom rotated between guitar and piano, while also singing instrument-less on “Abandon” and others. I was unaware that guitarist Josh Wise sang lead vocals on some tracks specifically on “Carried Away” and “Said So What,” so that was a rather nice surprise. That said their set was ultimately forgettable. Sure the harmonies were catchy, the rhythms were infectious, and the songs sounded good live, but I just couldn’t connect to it. I know they are known for their laid back, post-punk feel, but I was under the impression that their show would be a little more energetic. I guess the rest of the audience enjoyed it more than me however, because the band was welcomed back up on stage for a two song encore.

French Kicks

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photo : valerie@fremin.net

I did not leave the Mohawk feeling completely let down however. Frightened Rabbit, who opened the show, impressed the hell out of me. The foursome was energetic, tight, and played well off of one another. The songs were raw, loud, and much more powerful than on the record. Scott Hutchison’s unique, Scottish-accented voice took the show to another level. After about 7 or 8 songs, they left the stage one by one, leaving drummer Grant Hutchison alone onstage as he pounded away at his drum set until he slammed the sticks down, ending one of the best sets I’ve seen in a while. My only qualm was that they didn’t play “Heads Roll Off,” their most recent single, but that’s only because it was the song I was most familiar with. They did mention that they will be back in Austin on the 26th, which after a quick google search just happens to be a FREE show at the Mohawk. I would advise everyone to check them out live, but if you can’t, at least pick up their new album The Midnight Organ Fight, because you will not be disappointed.

-Emily Jansen

 

 

Frightened Rabbit

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photo : valerie@fremin.net

French Kicks are touring through June 11th, but have no more shows scheduled past that date as of now. Frightened Rabbit are wrapping up as support act for French Kicks, and then they immediately head out on a tour across the nation, hitting up most major cities, with Oxford Collapse starting June 12th.

MP3> Frightened Rabbit ‘Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms’

 

Frightened Rabbit

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photo : valerie@fremin.net

3 Comments so far

  1. Jason June 10th, 2008 10:11 am

    Emily – Are you absolutely sure they didn’t play “Heads Roll Off?” I could’ve sworn that they did. Could be wrong about that, I guess.

    I completely agree with your review of the French Kicks. I wasn’t really excited about seeing them, but I was willing to give them a chance. After seeing Frightened Rabbit’s regrettably short but rollicking set, my friends and I looked at each other, and I said, “Good luck topping that one, French Kicks.”

    Unfortunately, we were proven right. My friend made the comment that the French Kicks sounded like “decent background music,” and apparently the crowd agreed, because if you looked around, the majority of people were chatting with their neighbors rather than listening to the band. Overall, they are not a bad band, but they came nowhere near the same level of energy and raw excitement produced by Frightened Rabbit.

    Can’t wait to catch them next time through on the 26th. I would also like to highly recommend that you guys check out the Fleet Foxes show a the Mohawk on July 2nd. Their new album is gorgeous!

  2. Jason June 10th, 2008 11:24 am

    On second thought, I’m pretty sure I’m wrong about “Head Rolls Off.” I think what messed me up was that before the show, I was describing Frightened Rabbit’s music to my friends, who had never heard them before, and one of the sample lyrics I used was “Jesus is just a Spanish boy’s name/How come one man got so much fame?” So I did hear that bit of the song that night, it just came from my own mouth.

    Add to that a little alcohol, and you have one sweet recipe for confusion. Cheers!

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