Monday, October 24, 2011

Asobi Seksu at The Bishop

Friday evening, I took another trip the beloved town of my alma mater, Bloomington, IN. The reason for this trip was to see the band Asobi Seksu.

The band is a part of what I would consider to be a second wave of dream pop. The first wave came in the '80s; while some bands were using synthesizers to make punk-inspired New Wave, others were using it to create the hazier, fuzzier dream pop, think The Jesus and Mary Chain. There was a recent surge in the style, with bands like Dream House, Wild Nothing and M83, but Asobi Seksu precedes them by about 10 years.

After spending some time playing card games with friends, I headed to the show. I was able to catch the tail-end of the opening band, White Birds; after which I immediately wished I had caught more of. The band had a little bit of a Fleet Foxes vibe about them. While they certainly were not reinventing the wheel with their music, the vocals and harmonies were excellent, and they really caught my ear. However, I only caught about a song and a half of them, but they deserve some more listens, I think.

After what seemed like the shortest set up I've ever seen (no sarcasm, it really was a quick set up), the main act went on. To be honest, I've never been obsessive about Asobi Seksu, so I didn't have many set expectations for what I was going to get from the show. The performance was well worth the travel, though. The band had amazing energy and I was amazed at how crisp the singer's vocals came out live. They have all the signature fuzziness of dream pop, but seeing them live definitely showed them to be more influenced by older bands (they even covered a song from The Jesus and Mary Chain) than a precursor to more modern sounds.

The only disappointment with the show is that it was too short. The Bishop is right beneath a comedy venue and the band was forced to end after about 30 minutes because an act was going on upstairs (not acceptable). So...The Bishop and The Comedy Attic really need to work something out. As a final act of defiance, though, the guitarist let a piercingly loud guitar chord go on for about five minutes. So...take that comedy!

Asobi Seksu
Taken before the show actually started...surprised I had time!   

The show, by the way, was not the last of the weekend, more on that tomorrow!

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