Two Door Cinema Club
Sept. 23, 2011
Better than: Dancing suggestively.
Okay, we know we shouldn't harp on this, so we'll just say it straight out and then leave it be -- Two Door Cinema attracts a young crowd, and that's that. We felt a little out of place at the Warfield Friday night, and we're just a little tiny bit insecure about it, if you must know.
And now, the music: Two Door Cinema Club was good. Not great, but good. Its infectious pop-rock came with lots of energy and supplied a dance party (mostly fist pumping, clapping, and rhythmic hand waving, not actually touching another person). It's a challenge to have only one album (2010's insanely catchy Tourist History) and bring the heat, but Alex Trimble (vocals, guitar), Sam Halliday (guitar, vocals), Kevin Baird (bass), and Benjamin Thompson (drums) brought their Irish feistiness, good looks, and, importantly, tight pants.
With our eardrums about six inches away from an enormous speaker, we feel weird saying the band sounded thin, but, alas, it was true -- Tourist History gives a well-molded depth to the band's synth pop, an irresistible charm that shines with Trimble's sweet, full voice. Live, Trimble's vocals receded a bit into the background (though maybe being so close to that damn speaker gave us an unrepresentative experience).
Still, with hit single "Something Good Can Work" and other excellent cuts "This Is the Life," "Undercover Martyn," and "Do You Want It All?" in all its 7/4, stuttering glory, not even technical difficulties early in the show could stop Two Door Cinema Club from setting off a party.
"We didn't want to give you guys a half-assed show, I'm sorry about that," Trimble said three songs into the set before taking a five-minute break to allow the crew to resolve what appeared to be problems with the band's lighting rig. (On a related note, we were a bit confused -- and mildly disheartened -- during "I Can Talk," when the band used prerecorded back-up tracks for some of the vocal loops in the song.)
Given that Tourist History has only 10 tracks, we weren't surprised (but were still pleased) when the band debuted a few new songs such as, "This Is Moon," which came with the band's typical bounce but melded it with a little more rhythmic creativity than many of Tourist History's straight ahead, open hi-hat type grooves.
All in all, Two Door Cinema Club played well and with lots of energy, but, for some combination of reasons discussed above and other reasons that always are hard to name, the band's songs lacked some of their luster.
We were fashionably late enough to miss the first openers, but we weren't too sad about it once we heard the second opener -- Grouplove, an MGMT-ish band from L.A. that seemed promising but has a long way to go before it finds its own sound.
Personal bias: Love early Franz Ferdinand, not a big fan of MGMT. That somehow seems relevant.
Most intense dance moment: When the Warfield played "Sandstorm" between Grouplove and Two Door Cinema Club's sets.
Least common accessory: 21+ bracelets.