Cartel, Cobra Starship, Boys Like Girls, and New Atlantic at the 9:30 Club, 3.18.07.
I was pretty excited for this show because I've never seen Cartel outside of Warped Tour, and it's been since December or earlier since I've seen either Cobra Starship or New Atlantic.
New Atlantic were up first. They've recently signed to Eyeball Records and are releasing their debut full length, The Streets, The Sounds, And The Love in a few weeks. Hence, they played almost exclusively new material with the exception of "Late Night Television," which is off their earlier EPs. They sounded perfect as always. Their live show has improved a lot since Gio learned to enunciate while he sings. Most softer bands tend to be boring to watch, but New Atlantic is an exception. Basically, watching them just makes you happy.
Boys Like Girls was next. Clearly a lot of the underage girls were attending the show for this band, as there was a huge forward surge accompanied by screams when the band came out to test their instruments. I'm really not a fan of this band, as they are pop-punk by the numbers - no creativity at all - and Martin Johnson's voice tends to be nasal. I will credit them with having a good amount of energy onstage, but it wasn't good enough to convert me to fandom.
Cobra Starship put on an extremely entertaining performance as always. Gabe Saporta is constantly moving around the stage, dancing and engaging the audience at all times. He is also capable of staying on key while doing this, which is rarer than you'd think. Set list as closely in order as I can remember:
Send My Love To The Dancefloor, I'll See You In Hell (Hey Mister DJ)
The Ballad Of Big Poppa And Diamond Girl
The Church Of Hot Addiction
The Kids Are All Fucked Up
It's Warmer In The Basement
It's Amateur Night At The Appollo Creed
Keep It Simple
You Can't Be Missed If You Never Go Away
Bring It (Snakes On A Plane)
Martin Johnson (Boys Like Girls) and Will Pugh (Cartel) came onstage to sing backup vocals and rap, respectively, on "Bring It." Pugh should probably stick to singing and not rapping, but it was all in good fun.
Finally was Cartel. Their intro music was Queen's "We Will Rock You," which amped the crowd appropriately for the great show to follow. While Pugh isn't as active onstage as Saporta is, his incredible vocals more than make up for it. He has one of the most powerful voices I've ever heard, and he is able to almost perfectly replicate what is recorded on CD. Set list:
Say Anything (Else)
Matter Of Time
If I Fail
Burn This City
Wonderwall (Oasis cover)
The Minstrel's Prayer
I was so happy to hear "The Minstrel's Prayer," I've been wanting to hear that live forever. I also loved how they played that song with "Q" and "A" directly afterwards like on the CD - those three songs flow together so nicely. There were also short instrumental breaks between some of the songs, which sounded pretty, but kind of interrupted the show in my opinion. Also, Kevin Sanders' (drums) intensity makes up for Pugh's lack of - Sander's drumming is just as crisp live as it is recorded (the drumming is probably my favorite aspect of Chroma) and he often stands up at the kit and gestures wildly at the crowd while singing along.
The new song was decidedly more rock than anything from Chroma; easily radio-ready. I'd love to hear how it sounds recorded. Incidentally, Will dedicated the new song to The Receiving End Of Sirens and Matt Squire, who were all at the show since Squire is producing TREOS' new album in Maryland at the moment. Squire also produced Boys Like Girls' album.
Overall, a very good show all around. Can't wait to see three of those four bands again, whenever they come around next.