Show Review: The Rapture @ Middle East Down [Monday Sept. 11th]
I don't believe Brooklyn's French Kicks to be anyone's absolute favorite band. Additionally, in the four or so years that I've known about them, I can't recall them ever blowing up, having a hit single, or gracing the cover of a magazine that I've read. You might think these would all be strikes against a band that plays with the essential rock n' roll formula of electric strings and keys, but French Kicks are a bit of a wonder story, playing consistently good sets to support consistently good records that are endearing and celebratory.
But enough about the French Kicks, that was last week at the Middle East. There's a taller than tall, shaggy-haired group of rockstars out of Brooklyn well-known as The Rapture. This past Monday, I attended my very first MySpace Secret Show, in which I got to give the band my
full attention, as in the past it had only crossed paths with their live sets at festivals or other terrible outdoor music events. Though it wasn't their hometown, The Rapture brought the energy straight from New York's indie rock dance floors delivering their abundance of cowbell and shakey shreiks.
The Rapture is a band that exploded on to the scene around the time of New York's frailest period in 2001 alongside The Strokes (who were just here last night), but built the indie rock scene from the ground up. The DFA record label became the hottest thing west of Broadway, and the release of the Rapture full-length, Echoes, was timed perfectly after everyone and their mother spent the previous summer sweating away to "House Of Jealous Lovers."
Monday's show at the Middle East Downstairs was a bit unusual. The venue was only about half full, but everyone under the drinking age danced their young little faces off, while older, drunker bystanders smiled and moved with a general sense of satisfaction with the debuted songs. The single "Get Myself Into It" finally won me over, and cleared a path for The Rapture to display the growth between their previous style with a more fun-drenched, endearing quality peppered
with a heavier funk sound. Oh, and the sax. Got to love the sax; moreso Gabe's Lisa Simpson-esque dancing. He took his own suggestion and got himself into it.
The verdict stands. I don't know what it is that The Rapture has that makes them so successful, but it's something, and I'm never going to turn them away. I may, in fact, even frame the free poster from the show.
Buy: Pieces Of People We Love
MySpace: The Rapture
Audio: "Get Myself Into It"