The Montreal based husband and wife duo of indie electronic rockers Handsome Furs - Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and Alexei Perry - made a stop in San Francisco last night. The show at Slims was a part of a tour that is following-up the recent release of their third full length album Sound Kapital (Sub Pop Records). Opening the night up was the instrumental project Talkdemonic - hailing from ç – and the noiserock of Suuns who are also from Montreal.
My friends and I made our way across the street from a neighboring bar as Talkdemonic were kicking off the night. The sound of Lisa Molinaro’s violin immediately cut through the air and captured my attention. The violin was especially powerful on the track “Dec 27”. During the set an anxious fan yelled out for “Final Russian”, drummer Kevin O’Connor assured us that this would be coming later on into the set. The trippy fluttering sounds and smooth violin of “Eardrum Symphony” translated perfectly with the acoustics at Slims. In the set, they played a lot of new music from their upcoming album release Ruins (Set to drop October 2011).
Next up we had the Suuns bringing their blend of Psych/Noise/Thrash to the stage. The set kicked off with their fast beat building track “Arena”. A song that would have found good company if it would have been included on Muse’s 2003 release Absolution. The thrashy abrasiveness was delivered full force into our faces when the intro to “Marauder” began. I would have liked for the band to divert a bit more from their studio tracks, but overall I really dug the set and am looking forward to seeing how they develop their live show. Hearing the dark slow burning track “Pie IX” live was the highlight of the set. Before turning the stage over to Handsome Furs they left us with “Sweet Nothing”.
The energy on the floor was quickly building as visuals were being projected onto a screen that hid the stage. Finally, the screen rose and the crowd began to scream as Handsome Furs immediately dove into “When I Get Back”, as soon as the wailing snyth entered the speakers the crowd went wild. Both Perry and Boeckner were exuberant to be playing together last night. Following their opening song, Perry grabbed the mic to say “Holy Fucking Shit, I Love This Place!” for the first of many times. The crowd was equally excited; periods of screaming throughout the set were not uncommon.
After their opening track they played “Damage”, this led to us being told the story of why Boeckner and Perry have so much love for San Francisco. Perry said “I view this place as the most fucking romantic place, this is were I proposed to Dan. Although he was drunk, he said yes. It was in the Tenderloin.” The Tenderloin mention brought many in the crowd to laughter as this neighborhood is best known for their zombiesque drug fueled characters walking around aimlessly all the while sounds of police sirens scream in the background.
The incredible set continued through “Radio Kaliningrad”, “Memories of the Future” and on “What About Us” Boeckner entered the crowd as the crowd went crazy. When he jumped back on stage, he gave raving praise to the smell of the crowd he just immersed himself within. Before going on to the next song, Boeckner said to Perry “Happy fake anniversary” as they busted into “Legal Tender”. Once this song came to a close they exited the stage. It was obvious that an encore was in store; they soon reclaimed the stage to play “I’m Confused”. This was one of the best sets I’ve seen all year and my fingers are crossed that Boeckner and Perry can maintain the electric chemistry that was so vividly displayed onstage last night.
9/4 – Townhouse Lounge – Sacramento, CA
9/7 – Neurolux Lounge – Boise, ID
9/8 – Music Fest North West – Portland, OR
9/9 – Club 9one9 – Victoria, WA
9/10 – Neumos – Seattle, WA
9/13 – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – London, UK
9/14 – Manchester The Deaf Institute – Manchester, UK
9/15 – Whelan’s – Dublin, CA
9/16 – The Hope – Brighton, UK
9/17 – Incubate Festival – Tilburg, Netherlands
9/18 – Gleiss 22 – Munster, Germany
9/20 – Point Ephemere – Paris, France
9/21 – Blue Shell – Cologne, Germany
9/22 – Glocksee – Hannover, Germany
9/23 – Reeperbahn Festival – Hamnover, Germany
9/24 – Berlin Independent Night at Lido – Berlin, Germany
9/26 – Kranhalle – Munich, Germany
9/27 – Schocken – Stuttgart, Germany
9/28 – Treibhaus – Lucerne, Switzerland
9/29 – Forum Stadtpark – Graz, Austria
All photos (c) Dan Cordie