Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quasi Live at the Middle East

Quasi’s show at the Middle East was everything I had hoped for and more. Although I’ve never seen them before, the trio was just as energetic as they’ve ever been I’m sure. And, surprisingly, so was the crowd. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the demographics of the crowd were like, but if I had to give them a name it would be “old kids.” It was very odd.
I mean, I don’t know what I was expecting considering the fact that Quasi’s been around since the 90’s, but I guess I was thinking the audience would either be significantly older or my age. Turned out the average age was (I’m guessing here) around 30. Of course there were exceptions, like the old lady with white hair and glasses totally rocking out in the very front. To their credit, Janet Weiss did say at one point during the crowd that this was the “rowdiest” crowd they’d seen in a while.
The show opened with “Repulsion,” my favorite song off the band’s new album, American Gong. Sam Coomes was totally playing the rock star role, jumping on monitors and standing on drums while wailing on the guitar. A casual observer might even say he stole the show. But don’t be fooled.
The barefoot Janet Weiss was way cooler, even without all the prancing around. She’s got some of the tightest drum beats around, AND she can sing. But it’s not about competition right? The ex-husband and wife do make a good team I suppose... and Joanna Bolme, the bassist, isn’t bad either.
The three band members worked best together during their super sweet jam session in “Bye-Bye Blackbird.” But this drawn out, formless style wasn’t typical of their Tuesday night set. They mostly played stuff off their latest release, which is full of short, almost country-music inspired songs. Coomes did make it to his keyboard for a short while for some of their older stuff, but for the most part he was on guitar- a sure sign that in the midst of music’s “how many weird and wacky instruments can we fit in one song” phase, Quasi is headed in the right direction.

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