Show Review: Frightened Rabbit @ Stubbs (10/20)

Hopefully you were at Frightened Rabbit’s Stubb’s show last night, because – as singer Scott Hutchison announced multiple times throughout the evening – they don’t know when they’re going to be back.  Follow the jump for more.

This band has some devoted fans. Looking around, there were people singing along with every single song, a rapturously happy crowd-surfing guy who was stripping as he moved above the audience to cheers all around him, and well over a thousand people at the show.

Even with a laid-back and euphoric audience, there were a few negatives. Some guys were smoking a hideous cigar in the middle of the crowd, creating a five-foot radius of empty space around them (desired outcome or just a side benefit?). As usual, there were the few jackasses who took the quiet songs as an opportunity to talk loudly with their friends. The sound mix was a bit off, too heavy with guitar and keyboard, too light with vocals (it always seems to be hit-or-miss at Stubb’s).

The band was obviously having fun, but also wilting a bit in temperatures everyone else in Austin would consider awesome. Hutchison wiped sweat from his face and announced: ‘this may be cold for you, but for us it’s hot as shit!’ as a few concert-goers reminisced about watching Frightened Rabbit practically melt in the Fun Fun Fun Fest heat in 2008. No matter how many times Frightened Rabbit hits Texas, they never seem to adjust.

The best song of the evening had to be the most problematic. While the rest of the band took a brief break, Scott remained with a guitar for “Good Arms Vs Bad Arms”. About halfway into it, with a sudden pop his guitar went silent. Someone yelled ‘keep singing!’, so he continued on a capella. The crowd took over a few lines while he swapped guitars, than sang with him and the guitar through the end. It was an amazing experience.

At about 10:15 they announced that it was time for their last song, and the crowd groaned with disappointment. Two of the guys from Bad Veins helped them out on stage, and the crowd joined in for ‘it takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm’. It had to be the sweetest concert singalong ever that included the word ‘fucking’.

After an hour and a half of music, including the four-song encore, they left the stage. The crowd lingered, hoping for one more encore, until the house music came on. Then they slowly wandered out.

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