Sunday, May 06, 2007

Air

OK, finally I’m done with this semester of school. I better write about the concert or chickytava and painter girl are going to kill me.

Before delving into the concert itself, I wanted to say something about the drive up to Phoenix. I swear they could have shot Road Warrior in this wasteland. I kept expecting an Australian with a mohawk to suddenly appear in the lane next to me. Adding to the apocalyptic feel, right before I got into Phoenix proper a huge dust storm kicked up. I couldn’t even see the mountain that is south of Phoenix, and that’s a big mountain. Even worse, right before the dust storm dissipated it rained just a tiny bit. Enough to make it basically rain mud for a little bit. Kinda like poop falling from the sky.

Following the sky poop I made a long-awaited pilgrimage to In N Out Burger. I’ll talk about that in a separate post.

The web site of the venue said that the show started at 6:30. I thought that was kind of early, but whatever. I arrived at the place after becoming just a tiny bit lost trying to find it (hey, it was kind of hard to find!). I went up to the will call window to get my ticket, and once I got it it said Doors Open at 6:30, Show starts at 8. That made a bit more sense. In any case, there were a few people lined up outside so I joined them. It was about 10 minutes to 6 at this point. I had no idea what this venue was going to be like, so I decided I might as well try to get as close to the stage as I could. There weren’t too many people there, so I figured I could get pretty close. After they opened the doors, they split us into men’s and women’s lines so we could be frisked. My first thought was “This is B.S.”, but I guess with all the wackos these days you can’t be too careful. I did mind, however, that they confiscated the pen I had in my pocket. A pen?! Shit, if I could kill someone with a pen I could most likely kill them with my thumbs, so why don’t you take those too? Shit, if I wanted to kill an Air fan I could probably just steal their eyeliner. Anyway, there was no problem with getting a spot right up front in the middle. Now the only problem was how to kill the next hour and a half before the show started! There were some chairs toward the back of the hall, and I thought about sitting in one for awhile and then coming back up to the front, but I decided to be completely hardcore and just stand the whole time. It was totally worth it.

The opening act was someone named Kate Havnevik, who I had not heard of before. Apparently she’s had a bunch of songs on Grey’s Anatomy. To me she sounded kind of like Bjork or Emiliana Torrini. She wasn’t bad, but I haven’t gone out and bought her CD or anything. She only played 4 songs before departing.

Finally around 9 Air finally hit the stage. They started out with "Venus". Both of the guys were wearing all white, which looked pretty cool. I had a great view of monsieur Dunckel’s funky Le Coq Sportif shoes. There were 3 other guys in the band, including a drummer, another keyboardist, and a guy who sometimes played bass, sometimes guitar, and other assorted noisemakers. Everything sounded really good, although Dunckel’s munchkin vocals were just a tad bit off pitch sometimes. Godin mostly played mostly bass and a little guitar, and he switched basses a few times during the show. I couldn’t read what kind of bass it was, but there was one that he would play on some of the funkier numbers ("Talisman" and "La Femme D’Argent" come to mind) that just sounded nasty. The good kind of nasty. Dunckel had 2 sets of keyboards across from each other, and he stood in the middle and turned to play one or the other. He had his little Minimoog sitting up top. It seemed like that thing was held together with duct tape, a guy came out and futzed with it a couple of times. There was almost no between-song banter, but they said “Thank you” or “Merci” a couple of times. The first time Godin used his vocoder-thing (on "Remember") he said “Thank you very much” and it came out in that old-school Cylon voice. Very cool! I loved being so close because you could really read their facial expressions. You could tell that sometimes they would look at someone and see them having a great time, and that would make them kind of smile a little bit. It actually kind of freaked me out a little when it looked like they were looking at me. The crowd was really into it, and the band seemed very appreciative. For me the highlights were "Talisman", "Run", and "La Femme D’Argent". I was hoping to hear "Surfing on a Rocket" and "Playground Love", but those were not to be.

Another thing I liked is that the crowd seemed pretty laid-back (makes sense for this band!). I’ve been to other shows where you’re constantly having to jostle with people just to try and hold your ground – this wasn’t like that at all. And no one tried to worm their way up front and crowd my space. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but one way in which I’ve been spoiled by Ween shows is that in comparison, just about everyone else’s shows seem really short. The entire Air show was an hour and half including the encore. I enjoyed every minute, I just wish that more bands would play 2 hour plus shows. Oh well, I heard they had to cut their show at Coachella the next night short, so at least I didn’t have to deal with that. And speaking of Coachella, the video below made me realize that there was no annoying talking during the Tempe show. Talking during concerts pisses me right the hell off! I'm sure I would have gotten in a fight with some frat asshole in Coachella.

My efforts to get a set list after the show failed, unfortunately. The people who had been next to me all night got one, though. The bastids. So the setlist below is my best recollection, and it’s not in order except for the first and last songs. I found a photo here of a setlist from one of the other tour stops, it looks like I didn’t miss anything (there’s one extra song on that one, they didn’t play it in Tempe). I did manage to swipe a flyer from the bathroom wall. Oh, and my 2 hour drive back to Tucson was eased by finding a really cool radio show on a Tucson station. I was surprised because it was on 92.9, which usually seems to suck pretty hard. I believe it was called The Chill Side of the Mountain or somesuch, but they played Massive Attack, Portishead, and appropriately enough, Air!

Setlist:
Venus
Once Upon A Time
Napalm Love
Cherry Blossom Girl
Photograph
Mer Du Japon
Talisman
Remember
Radian
People In the City
Don’t Be Light
Run
Sexy Boy
Kelly Watch The Stars
La Femme D'Argent




This is the flyer I ganked from the bathroom.




Here's a review of the Minneapolis show that has some good photos.

There's a guy who has some good photos on his flickr account here and here. Needless to say if I couldn't bring in a pen, there was no way I was getting my camera in there!

Here's a really nice shot from Coachella, which was the night after I saw Air.
I also dug around on Youtube, and I found a really cool old performance from some French TV show, "Run" from the Portland show (audio not that great), a couple of songs from Coachella (listen to that bass on "Talisman"!), and even Kate Havnevik for those so inclined:












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6 Comments:

Blogger paintergirl said...

ok first-the mad max scenerio has me laughing because I would think that too. I would have probably have at least one post apocalyptic moment everyday if I lived in the desert.

AIR!!!! All in white-how sweet. I am glad it was such a good show, but no playground love-very sad. Nice flyer too. Hey-and check out Charlotte Gainsbourg, she has a new record out and has Air and Jarvis.

5/07/2007 12:32 PM  
Blogger JC said...

On the new Air CD, one of the bonus tracks that you can listen to online has Charlotte and Jarvis on it. I like it better than the Jarvis track that is on the actual CD.

5/07/2007 4:02 PM  
Blogger hollibobolli said...

Okay, as much as I love Air.. I need to come back when I can concentrate and fully take in this post. You know how I love music and your music reviews. I can't fake a response to this. I know you understand.

x

5/07/2007 10:59 PM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

I don't really know the band although Holli did make me a couple cd's that I always forget we have. Sounds like a fun night even if you didn't score the setlist.

5/08/2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger Chickytava said...

Thanks for the update!

My friend went to Coachella and said Air was almost an hour late starting their set so they barely played. He said they were good though... even if short-lived.

I've done the TUS-PHX drive many times, and yes, it's very Mad Max. And crazy boring too.

And the Mountain plays GREAT music on Saturday nights from 11pm - 1am. Yep, that's their "Chill" program. The other good station in Tucson is 91.3, which plays all kinds of variety from techno to French pop to bluegrass.

5/08/2007 2:25 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I just read this. Sorry for the delay. You cracked me up! Poop from the sky. Brilliant.

I am impressed that you stood at the front the entire time. It sounds like it was an amazing show!

My pit days are far behind me. Talkers at shows make me insane as well. Last year, I somehow got tickets to an unannounced Coldplay show at a small club in Boston (it only cost me $150) and a girl next to me talked the entire time, and not about anything interesting. I asked her to shut up and she looked all offended. Whatever. I should have thought to steal her eyeliner :) Although with a Coldplay fan, it would have to be more like her organic free range fair trade coffee, or something.

5/12/2007 3:51 PM  

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