Desaparecidos @ Northsix

All week long, all I’m thinking is that I’m going to see the Desaparecidos. For those of you that have been living in a cave, this is a huge deal. The first time we ran into Conor Oberst’s new band, they were opeing for Sorry About Dresden & Curisve at the Knitting Factory last year. At the time they were still working on their first record and we had no idea what to expect. The show was less than good, it really seemed like a one off kind of thing to indulge the parts of Conor that weren’t being fufilled by Bright Eyes.

How things changed when Read Music, Speak Spanish was finally released. Easily one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time, it’s one of those things that I have to school myself not to listen to every day. I was disappointed to hear that they were opeing for Jimmy Eats World all summer, playing venues that I’d never go to… until I randomly saw on pollstar that they were doing a warm up show at North Six the night before their Roseland gig in the city.

North Six is really the epitome of the new Williamsburgh and we’d never been, so that was going to be a bonus as well. Turns out that it could be one of the best places to see a show in the city – it’s set up very well, probably holds ~500 people and has a good (but really loud) sound system. I liked the bar & the people were really into what was going on.

Rilo Kiley opened, and they were great. Keyboards, yes, but enough guitars to keep me interested. North Six is set up so you can stand at the bar & be close enough to the stage to be engaged, without having chatters bother you (the sound system, again). As their set was finishing I was really worried that J was going to miss the start of the Desaparecidos – it was only 10:30 & I told her to show up @ 11. I didn’t know it, but there was another band playing second.

The Miracle of ’86 kicked my ass. Possibly the best emoish punk I’ve heard live (at least by accident) in a long time. I remember the first time I heard the Old ’97s live, I had no idea that people could have that much fun playing music that I wasn’t prepared for. This was exactly the same thing, he even emotes like Rhett, and I really thought I was seeing the start of something really special, a band that I’d want to see over & over again. AND they were based in Brooklyn. This was a Good show.

The Desaparecidos were, quite honestly, ok. This is a studio band. Conor’s voice just doesn’t work that well live (it does better in Bright Eyes), and he’s not the best guitar player in the world. They’ve replaced a few of the younger members since we saw them last (constant debate during the show about whether the lead player was the same guy much older or not), but still just ok. I’m sure their next will be another of my favorite disks, and I’ll always go see them live, but I wish they had the power & beauty that they manage to pull off in such a raw way on the album.

As for the openers… everything they put out on CD is only OK. Juliet says the first rule of music is that you must rock harder live, this is the first time I’ve run into to such an extent.

Posted in Legacy, Nuke, Shows by Matt at August 8th, 2002.

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