Show Review: Two Door Cinema Club @ LZR (3/15)

A bit lost in the shuffle of SxSW was a show at La Zona Rosa on the Tuesday before the full on start of the Music Festival.  The lineup featured an interesting combination of bands in town for the conference; Bad Veins, Royal Bangs and Two Door Cinema Club.  Impressions of each and some pics after the jump, but I’ll let you know now that Two Door was awesome…

Bad Veins start, but photographers got two songs in the pit so I was in black out mode.  I recall “Falling Tide” getting the crowd warmed up for “Gold and Warm”, one of my favorites.  “Crosseyed” also worked, the beat’s slow pace contradicted the manic nature of Sebastien Schultz on the drums.  Benjamin Davis belted out the tune into the mic and used the phone handset for the effect of being wired in from another country.  Meanwhile, the reel to reel they evidently nicknamed Irene gave the filling tracks and backgrounds.  The band finished their set with “The Lie”.  They had won the crowd.  A great set, much better than the last time I saw them, SxSW two years ago in a tent with maybe twenty people.

Royal Bangs came up with all the momentum and quite frankly stumbled.  I am not a real fan, but the mix was terrible.  Vocals were overly harsh and without earplugs nearly unbearable.  The crowd went flat, not sure if it was Royal Bangs’ fault and they really weren’t Two Door friendly to begin with.  Bad Veins worked.  Royal Bangs didn’t.  I’ll see them again, holding out final judgment based on other reviews around the blogosphere of these guys killing it.

Buzz grew through the break as the final sound check was completed and Two Door Cinema Club was about to take the stage.  Clear shot of the setlist got me excited, some fans behind me wanted to see it, some wanted to experience it.  Strobes kick, the band emerges and starts with “Cigarettes in the Theatre” and followed with “Undercover Martyn”.  I had chatted with a few guys in the front row that had driven down from Norman, OK just for the show.  They were going mental. They even grabbed me at one point when I was taking a quick scan of pics mid-song just to yell their approval incoherently.  And I get it.  It was infectious. Alex Trimble was impossible to track through the lens between vocal duties.  The energy was nuts.

The next thing I remember after being in the pit was “Do You Want It All”, a favorite song for me and the wife.  “Handshake” was introduced as brand spanking new.  Not quite as frenetic a pace for the guitar hook, things are looking good for the follow-up.  “This is the Life” had the crowd nodding/swaying to the guitar hook.  “You’re not Stubborn” was a dance party and the flagship song “What You Know” finished the regular set.  The encore started with “Come Back Home”, but it was “I Can Talk” that left everyone spent, me especially (probably still had a fever).  I got major brownie points from the wife for spending a SxSW night with her, friends that came with were thrilled with what they saw and heard.  This band will be HUGE, pretty safe bet as long as they keep doing their thing on stage.

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