Having unfortunately missed Neon Indian and obliged a forgettable set by the Kissaway Trail, Guesslist and co wrangle standing room in a packed Opera House for White Lies.
As with Guesslist’s company on the night, many present were curious onlookers availing of a free promotional ticket rather than devoted fans. That said, throughout the night it is impossible to ignore the grouping at the front, armed raised to the skies, screaming every word of most songs back to lead singer Harry McVeigh, who is suffering a major dose of the Brandon Flowers.
Wearing a white shirt in contrast with his band mates co-ordinated somber black, McVeigh can sing, but boy does he know it. Swaggering across the small stage, pumping his fist at every opportunity, the lead man epitomises White Lies’ stage show – lots of style, faultless on effort, but lacking a lot of substance.
Bar an impressive opening with gusto, and a thumping finale of – you guessed it – Death, there is little to this show that suggests that White Lies are little more than a poor man’s Killers (which is saying something) with Joy Division/Interpol aspirations.
In fact, in writing this review Guesslist is scratching his head trying to pull anything memorable from the middle section of the show.
Leaving the Opera House (a great venue where more gigs need to be played) we assess contrasting opinions.
Speaking to a seasoned and well known Cork gig goer the consensus was ‘they play their good songs well and…y’know’ before the train of thought trails off out of politeness. If you can’t say anything nice…
However, queuing for my jacket the frighteningly young looking guy behind me raves about the ‘gig of the year’ hampered only by the fact that ‘it was so obvious that people here aren’t fans and just wanted a free ticket.’
While drinks companies will pump money into funding these events (and how much longer will this sort of brand promotion continue?) the motivation for a band like White Lies shouldn’t just be their fee or fans. These are exactly the opportunities break through bands should use to win over those ‘who just want a free ticket.’
Despite the act’s genuine effort, those availing of the freebies won’t have been converted by what was on show tonight.
Any time I’ve seen Toronto’s Holy Fuck play, I’ve always been very impressed – their distinctive loop-blasting, knob twiddling antics are backed by a powerful rythm section that always manages to keep things (a) loud and (b) fun.
It seems like it’s been forever since 2007’s LP, but in the meantime here’s a quality recording of the band’s set at Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival from September ’09.
Added on 15 March 2010
The second single off You Can Make Sound is given the video treatment, complete with some nifty animation and special effects.