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Friday, June 3, 2011

Architecture in Helsinki Makes a Joyous Noise at Great American Music Hall

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Architecture In Helsinki - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Architecture In Helsinki

Architecture in Helsinki
Hooray For Earth
June 2, 2011
Great American Music Hall

Better than: Crocodile Dundee II: Electric Boogaloo

The Great American Music Hall was built in 1907, just after the Great earthquake and fire, and judging from the look of the place, the town must've been in the mood to party. As designed, San Francisco's oldest music

venue resembles one of the more dignified and solvent whorehouses of Theodore

Roosevelt's day -- all dark browns and deep reds, with lots of marble, gilt gingerbread,

and other filigree common to pleasure dens of la belle époque. My photographer and I got there early to lounge a bit in the balcony, watching about 100 good-looking frumps in their early 20s play muted grabass while trying to act sophisticated.

Hooray for Earth - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Hooray for Earth

Hooray for Earth
opened and all stood as if for an anthem -- and that's almost what it got. Brooklynites who practice a ragged-edge synth-edged club pop (the crowd liked them better than I did), H4E struggled with wheezing feedback and other sonic maladies before getting its set on the rails midway through. The people were with them through every oontz and skronk, and the band fed on the warming power of the audience in the time-honored symbiotic way. They stepped off to fierce applause and everyone went back to posing for about 60 minutes.

Architecture in Helsinki - ROMANA MACHADO
  • Romana Machado
  • Architecture in Helsinki

Melbourne cutie-pop titans Architecture in Helsinki has been on tour since early April, following an extensive European jaunt with a 10-gig dash through Australia that concluded a mere two days before a stand at the Henry Fonda in L.A. this past Wednesday. This mad Phileas Fogg transglobal dash is to promote the mortal fuck out of their fourth album, Moment Bends, but life on tour must agree with this winsome sextet as it never did the Dead. Though the hall filled to only about half its 500 capacity, this audience was the hands-down throwdown paradigm of recent memory, making a collective diaphragm-driven shriek that rattled the balcony fixtures. The band's McCartneyesque pop disco doesn't crank the auditor quite as high as the High Llamas, but the Llamas' Sean O'Hagan is nowhere near as funky as Kellie Sutherland, who shook it like Tina Turner as guitarist Cameron Bird jumped like a jack-in-the-box Pete Townshend. Splendid stuff -- and the detonation preceding the encore proved ear-crushing and thankfully short-lived. The cover of Londonbeat's 4 a.m. standard "I've Been Thinking About You" was especially well-received as it went off near the midnight hour. AinH plays Slim's tonight, and I don't doubt a lot of these same cultists will be there, making noise just as joyful.


Setlist (partial):

Desert Island
Hold Music
Denial Style
That Beep
The Owls Go
Maybe You Can Owe Me
I Know Deep Down
Everything's Blue
Do the Whirlwind
Heart It Races
I've Been Thinking About You
Contact High
B4 3D

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