I can't even begin to describe how much I love the music scene in Cincinnati. It's easy to underestimate the amazingness of live music until you have access to many of your favorite bands right in your backyard.
Last Tuesday, I got to see The Walkmen and The New Pornographers.
The Walkmen were on first and I was actually a bit more excited about them than The New Pornographers (despite my girly crush on Neko Case). I quickly realized that The Walkmen are one of those bands you have to see live to fully appreciate. Their music is good, really good, but they have this great restrained energy live. Hamilton Leithauser has an incredible voice which would be well-suited to heavy metal (though I much prefer it here). He's also surprisingly hot when he's singing, new musician crush, I guess... Paul Maroon provides the sprinkling guitar, though took to the piano for one AMAZING song. Matt Barrick is incredibly entertaining to watch as the drummer.
flickr.com - Loren J. Root Photography
Two things detracted from their set, though neither was the fault of the band. For one, The New Pornographers' set lights were up the entire show (the lights happen to spell out "The New Pornographers"), so that was a little strange to me. Also, some idiot fan kept screaming for them to play "We've Been Had," which they eventually did, but the guy was super-annoying.
Those minor annoyances aside, their set was incredible and I was left with even more appreciation for this great band.
Next on were The New Pornographers. This would technically mark the second time that I've seen them perform live, they were at Pitchfork about four years ago when I went. This was another great performance. I was sad that Dan Bejar was not a part of this show (probably touring with his other band, Destroyer), but seeing Kathryn Calder, A.C. Newman and Neko Case was still incredible. The band has great songs and easy to sing along to. They willingly (as in, not to just shut up a fan) took a few requests, which inevitably involved shouts of "Bleeding Heart Show" (the song used in the old University of Phoenix commercials), which they graciously played. They came back for an encore and ended the whole thing on perhaps my favorite song of theirs, "Spanish Techno."
flickr.com - lilhelen
Overall, an absolutely incredible show!