The Showbox sounded a little like old film of teen girls in the '60s losing their mind to the Fab Four. Ladies were screaming and shouting, dancing like a Southern revival and generally going nuts. What is it about British bands that make American women go so crazy?
Meanwhile, up on the stage, Frightened Rabbit were good. Not phenomenal, just good.
To reference some mainstream successes, the five Scotsmen combine some of the better guitar stylings of U2 (with much subtler effects and far less arena-rock posturing) with a touch of the same vocal affectation as that guy from Counting Crows. However, they play with passion and their songs are well-crafted and upbeat--even when they're speaking for the downtrodden.
Thursday's show marked the start of their month-long North American tour with Plants and Animals and Bad Veins. The opening bands were greeted with generous Seattle politeness and the audience steadily grew through the evening. Once our Scottish guests appeared in the spotlights, the crowd let loose the energy they had held in reserve for the openers.
Frightened Rabbit band leader Scott Hutchison was openly thankful for the turnout and the enthusiasm, remarking that he knew how hard it was to get out and see bands due to the high prices of tickets these days. He mentioned that one of the reasons for the high price was "Live Nation booking fees." In Seattle, Ticketmaster (a.k.a. Live Nation) calls these "convenience charges" and unless you buy tickets at the door, you are well aware of their sting.
Despite the obvious pains of the music industry these days, Frightened Rabbit attracted a sizable crowd for the opening of their tour. They are overcoming high ticket prices and inciting a furor in their fans that spills out in screams and epileptic, hands-to-the-sky dancing. They are crafting big songs out of simple layers and emotional swells. I don't think they'll be the next Beatles, but I think a little fan fervor is definitely in order. I've included a video as evidence of this claim.
Good luck on the tour, boys. Cheers!