Eagulls | 05.20.14

live eagulls smGeorge Mitchell carved a very somber presence on stage, but not an entrancing one, like Ian Curtis had.

 

 

live eagulls

Firebird, St. Louis

Reviewing the Eagulls debut prepared me for them live. Overall, what you hear on the album—which is great—is what you will see in concert. They were good—really good—but it was just that: listening to the album live. Not a lot of differences, not a lot of expanding on any riffs or anything like that. Coming off watching an opener who got up there and rocked out, this was a small disappointment. The crowd more than got their money’s worth, mind you. Eagulls is a cohesive unit when they play, with their bass player driving things and their lead guitarist destroying you. They tore through album standouts “Nerve Endings,” “Fester/Blister,” and “Footsteps” with fury, and closed with their hit “Possessed.” Looking back, they played almost the full album in their hour-long set.

Lead singer George Mitchell looks the part. Tall, thin, sullen—all what you would expect for someone channeling Ian Curtis and others from the post-punk movement. He had very little to say to the audience other than once, when the guitarist was fixing something. I could barely understand him as he was soft spoken, which is opposite of how he barks out lyrics when singing. Mitchell carved a very somber presence on stage, but not an entrancing one, like Curtis had. That may come with time.

Chicago’s Twin Peaks got things going with an all-too-short opening set. More in line with garage rock form the 2000s, Twin Peaks put on an impressive set showcasing their really fun onstage presence, as well as their rather gifted talent. As I was not expecting much, it was nice to be blown away by a band that is tight, can play really well together, and in general enjoy performing. Most of their songs were blasts clocking in at under three minutes each, but man, do they cram as much into those three minutes as possible. Trading singing duties between the bass player and their two guitarists was nice, as each offered different vocal styling and lyrical content so you got a range of songs to enjoy. And their drummer was a wild man behind his kit and fun to watch. Their EP Sunken doesn’t do them any justice as to what you will see live. | Mike Koehler

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