Friday Night: The Fiery Furnaces at Slim's

Categories: Last Night
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The Fiery Furnaces, Cryptacize, Dent May
Slim's
Nov 21, 2009

Better Than: The dance party in your living room.

Perhaps it was the youth factor of an all-ages show, but I can't think of the last time I've seen so many genuinely happy people all in one place, and actually dancing no less, than at Friday's Fiery Furnaces show. At the tail end of the US tour for last summer's release The End Is Near, the band -brother and sister team Eleanor and Matt Friedburger, joined by tour drummer Bob D'Amico and bassist Jason Lowenstein--put on a flawless performance that left fans pretty damn giddy.

The Fiery Furnaces took the stage promptly at 10:45 p.m., and as soon as they played the first note of "Rub Alcohol Blues," the kids down front began their convulsing. The band kept the energy going with "Charmaine Champagne," "Duplexes," "Automatic Husband," and "Ex-Guru." Neither Friedburger uttering a word between songs until "The End Is Near," which was dedicated to "a good friend" by Eleanor. The Furnaces performed at least two songs off each of their eight albums, but in typical fashion, most of them clocked in under 3 minutes, helping the group burn through over 16 songs in just about an hour.

Notoriously cantankerous Matt appeared a bit bored during the set, keeping his gaze fixed on Eleanor as if he expected her to fumble over one of her furious lyrics at any moment. Luckily for his sake and ours, she didn't. Eleanor spent much of the set with her hair in her eyes, calmly and effortlessly spouting lyrics to the sometimes-manic songs without breaking a bead of sweat in the otherwise steamy Slims. Finishing with "Worry Worry," The Friedburgers left the stage for a brief moment--mostly to refresh their beer---and then gave a three-song encore without even giving the audience a moment to ask for one. There were no complaints, however, as fan favorite "I'm In No Mood" was followed by "Asthma Attack," and "Here Comes The Summer" brought freakishly large smiles to faces. Unsatisfied with one encore, the Furnaces appeared for another, playing two more songs just as people began filing out of the venue.


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The Furnaces made themselves incredibly available before and after their sets. Matt endearingly handed off his pick to the littlest member of the crowd and ensured that his biggest fans - a pair posted in front the entire show who bore a strange resemblance to Dwight Yoakam and Kevin Smith's Silent Bob --got the set lists from the stage.

The biggest surprise of the night was Cryptacize. Hailing originally from Crockett, Cryptacize was formed by Nedelle Torrisi and Chris Cohen (formerly of Deerhoof). They played to an attentive crowd, many of whom appeared to be the band's family members and friends in front, proudly snapping photos. Torrisi's airy, longing vocals came out strong over sped-up guitars, marching drums, and autoharps, and the band created a transfixing performance off the songs off its April 2009 release Mythomania. Dent May opened the evening with a 15-minute appearance that was largely ignored due to the shortness of its set.

Overall, Friday's Slim's show provided a total of 22 songs, two encores, and two opening acts, not only giving fans their money's worth, but restoring my faith in the youth of America, making me long for the days when the lack of insecurity allowed people to go crazy at a show.

Editors Notebook:

Random Detail: The group of five teenagers to my left, who kept their dance party going from beginning to end, kept a smile on my face through the entire show.
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