By Bobby Talamine
You know a show is gonna start off well when you lead with your latest hit “High Ticket Attractions”, and you build from there. Eight musicians onstage to flush out their incredible sound, a cool backdrop that lights up boldly in its center…just goes to show that with a little wit, and some serious fun, everyone can have a good time. People have been calling them an “Indie Supergroup”, but I don’t know about that. Having Neko Case and AC Newman in the fold certainly helps a little with that definition. But if you were to ask AC Newman that, I bet he’d just shrug it off, then say he just wants to continue to write crafty and witty pop songs, and the more people involved- the merrier..
Newman’s musical vision is a wonder to behold: a sophisticated blend of Beach Boys style rock, mixed with synths via Gary Numan, with a Belle & Sebastian blend with some Garage Rock thrown in for good measure. It’s hard not to stand still when hearing this amalgam of beautiful songs – one right after another. They seem to be a combination of different bands when performing live: a slew of new material easily distinguished from old. Which is a good thing. Because when your musical ideas expand in scope over the years- what to do with the old material when performing live? You expand on that stuff as well, that’s what.
AC Newman has a basic approach when playing songs: a little nerdy in looks, not much stage presence, just sing into the mic, don’t show much emotion, stay true to the material. Honestly, this works. It just adds more charm to concentrate on other aspects for a riveting music experience.
As for Neko Case: she has her own unique way of rocking out: flailing away with her tambourine, adding serious vocal when necessary. This band live at the one & only Metro Chicago: hubba hubba. Give me more. And you’re in luck.
Although sold out: they have one more show tonight at the Metro.
For more on The New Pornographers, click here
For photos from the show at the Metro, click here
Setlist The New Pornographers live in Chicago at the Metro
1: High Ticket Attractions
2: The Laws Have Changed
3: Use It
6: Dancehall Domine
7: Whiteout Conditions
8: Champions of Red Wine
9: Adventures In Solitude
10: All The Old Showstoppers
11: This Is The World Of The Theater
13: Testament To Youth In Verse
14: Sing Me Spanish Techno
15: Play Money
16: Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk
17: Avalanche Alley
18: Mass Romantic
19: We’ve Been Here Before
20: Brill Bruisers
21: The Bleeding Heart Show