Show Pics: Operators @ Sidewinder (4/13)
Dan Boeckner has been providing ATH with amazing songs for a long time. Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits and, now, Operators. Teaming up with Sam from Divine Fits and a multi-instrumtalist in Devojka to create dance pop with an edge to it that allows for a broad audience share. Rager? Done. Dark wave? Done. RayRay and I were pretty jacked to see this project. Operators brought Bogan Via along with locals Boss Battle opening.
Click through for pics and notes…
Look, I wasn’t a fan of Boss Battle, but it was down to taste. They can play, strong vocal and the best drum face I’ve seen a some time. But, it just didn’t match my brainwaves going into this show. They’ll find an audience in Austin, for sure.
We had a brief chat with Dan on the back patio, most of it complimentary gushing from RayRay and I, but we recounted the sweat-filled Handsome Furs show in August a few years back countered by legends and myths about venues and sweat. We talked festivals and projects, home towns and travels. If you go see Operators, by all means introduce yourself to Dan. He is approachable and engaging and a genuine guy.
Bogan Via, however, nailed my current mood. Bret Bender and Madeline Miller share vocals while plunking keys and crafting synth pop beauties, buoyed only by a drum loop. It is a stripped down, clean sound that has depth at the same time from layered harmonies of the voices and keyboards. I loved it. RayRay was on the fence, but they walked into my ear holes at a perfect time. Thanks, Dan, for the live intro.
Finally, Operators. From the first song to the last, I was engaged. Dan puts so much into the performance, splitting time between synth and guitar. “Blue Wave” was a pure pop hit. “Control” was such a big synth groove. Sam’s drums being up front added impact as Devojka and Dan rans keys midstage. Dustin Hawthorne takes a corner of the stage for songs that require bass grooves beyond the synths. They ran through all of Blue Wave on shuffle and through in a few of the singles befor the record release. “Space Needle was RayRay’s high point, despite it being the slow jam, relative term here.
Go see them.
Decided for B&W tonight. Suits things.