Scene Report: Iceage Live at the Triple Rock Social Club
Iceage play 'core-tinged gothic post-punk and they doing it really fucking well. Their debut album, New Brigade is one of the best records of the year so far. If it's not on your summer playlist, add it like, now, because you will probably hate them next week when they get huge. And who doesn't get off on playing the I-liked-them-back-when... game? I love it.
I'm always amazed that despite being the middle of summer here in the Midwest, there are still an astounding number of people without at least some semblance of a tan. Seriously, all it takes is to go outside for like, ten minutes once a week. Other than that I don't really have any complaints. Despite it being an 18+ show, judging from the amount of beers being drunk, I would say the majority of the folks in attendance were of the 21+ range. Several older people as well. Although going to rock shows and getting drunk is le statut supérieure of the young, it pleases me to see the old timers come out to play from time to time as well.
During the opening bands, it was easy to tell who Iceage were. In fact, it's always easy to pick out the European rock dudes in the crowd. They wear baggy sweatshirts over collared dress shirts, their pants are always too short for their lanky nonathletic build, and they have that swoopy-in-the-front haircut falling across their pasty faces. Like a cross between Basketball Diaries-era Leo and made-for-TV artist, Miles Mendenhal. So that's what the band looked like. They are from Denmark, and you can tell.
After their first song, "White Rune" which is also the opening track on their record, the lead singer Elias' guitar strap broke. It appeared to be held on with athletic tape that was no longer working. We were treated to a lengthy dose of feedback while the band worked feverishly to fix it. In doing so, a string broke. They went into the next song anyway, broken strap, string and all. It was an almost-too-perfect moment, that, if I didn't know any better, I would have thought was planned. It's the kind of thing "it" bands to that make them, well, "it."
Initially I was surprised by the lack of the energy put forth by a band everyone from MRR to Vice to even the godawful, Onion is describing as "energetic." That would change though, as eventually Elias ditched the guitar altogether and the rest of the band seemed to come to life. The audience up front responded appropriately, as a smallish circle pit formed. Unfortunately, it was all over too quickly. Their set lasted all of 27 minutes. Which is roughly 2 minutes longer than their record. But it's not like they held anything back--they played pretty much every song they have. I think everyone would have been happy if they would have just played the set over again as an encore. In fact, New Brigade is one of the few records I will listen to back-to-back so it would have been appropriate.
Overall, Iceage is every bit good live as they are on record. They very well may be "the next big thing." And if they are, well...I saw them back when...