Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Chasing Seafoam Dreams Around Another Dirty Old Town

Thoughts from Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Live @ the Gothic, Denver 4/22/07

The short version:
Should you have any passing interest in Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, I implore you to attend their live show.

The slightly longer version:
Rarely does one get the chance (at least in the "all things new" world of indie rock) to see a veteran like Ted Leo in an intimate venue like the Gothic Theatre. Such an event, as I learned Sunday night, is something to be treasured. Ted Leo absolutely controlled the stage on this evening, keeping the audience enthralled with a wide selection of songs from his Pharmacists back catalogue and their new album, "Living with the Living". If concert goers were not already excited to see the D.C. based band, the opening onslaught of "Sons of Cain", "Me and Mia", and "Dial Up" was enough to stoke anyone's interest.

As the night wore on with stellar rendition after stellar rendition, Ted Leo faught through snapping strings and Kristen's disapproval of what looked like white Keds, but were in reality a pair of hipster approved Vans. I don't think I've ever seen anyone with a better crowd relationship, as Mr. Leo kept us smiling and laughing while he caught his breath in between songs. When a drunken man up front kept screaming "Ted Leoooooo!" at the top of his lungs, Ted politely asked the man's name. "Steve," he replied. "What's your full name?" As the man barked out "Steven O'Neil," Ted got down in the man's face and screamed into the mic, "Steven O'Neillllllll!"

Pitchfork recently posted photos and a brief review of Ted Leo's concert at the Metro in Chicago. My impressions of their live show are rather similar, except I had no interest in seeing an end to the show. Paul Thompson, on the other hand, found the energetic act satisfying albiet a bit tiresome, as "the set's 10 p.m. endtime couldn't have come soon enough."

My favorite conversation of the night:
Me: (on Ted Leo's clothing) "It takes balls to wear pearly white pants during your set"
Kellan: (3 minutes later) "If you're going to be a drummer, you'll need to be flawless"
Me: "Ball-less?!"
Kellan: "Flawless"
Me: "Jaw-less?!"
Kellan: "Flawless"
Me: "Oh, flawless... I know."

Denver Post Concert Preview

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