Electrelane | 06.07.07

live_electrelaneI pride myself on getting set lists, but for Electrelane I left with a very incomplete one, filled with hopeless notes of "incessant piano," "hypnotic keyboard," "circular melodies," "frequent guitar-solos," and tidbits of Verity Susman's soft-spoken British accent.

 

 

 

 

w/Tender Forever & Berlin Whale
Creepy Crawl,
St. Louis

Three bands with clashing styles and a wide range of fans produced one quality show last Thursday, June 7 at the Creepy Crawl. St. Louis' own Berlin Whale, the all-male four-piece, got things rolling, Tender Forever, a.k.a. Melanie Valera of France, charmed the crowd, and Electrelane, the all-girl four-piece from England, made the night complete.

The youthful Berlin Whale boasted a full, noise-rock sound typical of, yet more impressive than, bands that frequent the Lemp. Untrained voices, full-band singing, handclaps, fast-paced stop-and-go music, and lyrics as world changing as "Earthquake, hurricane," made for an exciting opening set. They rocked for seven songs, including all three tunes from their MySpace page, with the standout, "The Marathon," serving as the finale.

Shifting from local to international, Tender Forever took the stage with a chatty, 45-minute, 11-song set that featured two covers. Valera struck with two of her best songs first, "Happy Birthday" and "Take It Off." The bulk of her performances was sliced in between tales of her bus ride from Austin, going to Matt Groening's house in Los Angeles, getting on tour with Electrelane, and professing her sincere love for Destiny's Child. This included a dedication to Destiny's Child, "The Feeling of Love," ukulele renditions of Cher's "Believe," which entailed clapping, singing, and huddling around Valera, and Cody Chesnutt's excellent "Boylife in America." Tender Forever's highlight came on her passionate "Then If I'm Weird I Want to Share," delighting the dancing, high-content lesbian portion of the crowd. All songs, besides covers, came from her 2005 album Soft and Hardcore until she got to a sure hit, still untitled track, from an album she hopes to unveil within 2007. She ended with two of her stronger Soft and Hardcore cuts, and by this point the crowd had fallen for her heavy accent and innocent concern for our enjoyment.

The jump from the improvisational feel of Berlin Whale and Tender Forever to the polished, experienced Electrelane completely changed the flow of the concert. Electrelane made their second journey to St. Louis, this time in support of their incredible May 2007 release No Shouts No Calls. I pride myself on getting set lists, but for Electrelane I left with a very incomplete one, filled with hopeless notes of "incessant piano," "hypnotic keyboard," "circular melodies," "frequent guitar-solos," and tidbits of Verity Susman's soft-spoken British accent. Prior to No Shouts No Calls, the band offered almost no words, as demonstrated in their live performance, bringing forth one of the tightest instrumental performances I've witnessed.

The best portion of the show came with the hot streak of "The Greater Times," "In Berlin," and the requested, "I Want to Be the President," a song they rarely perform. The crowd-pleaser was "Birds," with "To the East" and "On Parade" also receiving small roars when introduced. Sadly, my favorite, "6 Cut and Run" was not played despite shouts from the crowd, perhaps too much of a pop song. After the 15-song set, Electelane came back with a nice two-song encore, highlighted by Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire." | Joseph O'Fallon

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