The Shout Out Louds / The Rosebuds / The Sun
Great American Music Hall

November 16, 2005

Review by Jake Thomas

Oh glorious night, my good friends The Rosebuds were coming back to town for a third show in the last four months! I must have done something right to get treated to such good karma.

I got there early to see my friends and pretend I’m one of the cool kids by hanging out backstage, it was champagne and caviar and hookers everywhere! A real paradise, you commoners don’t know what you’re missing. Okay, it was just tortilla chips and sodas but still, free is free. The backstage area was also stage to one of the highlights of the night for me, and that was when Chris Burney, singer for The Sun, started walking around the hall singing and Johnny Cash songs and playing his guitar and all of the bands joined in, it was like a real old-fashioned hoe-down minus the campfire and the gingham skirts and, well, the hoes. It was a hoot though.

I made my way upstairs and watched some of The Sun's set; it was pretty damn rockin’ and good…maybe not spectacular, but worthy of checking out as an opener certainly. Given the history of music in the state, any band from Ohio (Columbus I think?) is worth taking a chance on. There were a number of moments in their live act that made you think of the Pixies, but mostly it was pretty straight-forward rock songs with a little keyboard drone and a quirky front-man that looks like Harry Potter.

The Rosebuds took the coveted middle spot, and despite the number of good shows going on this night (J Mascis at one spot and Spoon at another, just off the top of my head) the crowd was really starting to fill up. It never got packed but it was pretty full. As has been noted in all my past reviews of the band, they ruled. They always rule, at least as much as a sweet, simple pop band can. I ended up shooting some video with their camera for them as they played, and took a few half-assed half-frame shots on top of that. In their four visits so far to the Bay Area, this show marked their third drummer - in this case, it was Matt Macaughan, best known as the drummer for Portastatic and brother to Mac from Superchunk. Despite his being a fan of Duke basketball, he’s a swell guy and a helluva drummer. It’s obvious more and more folks are getting into them…there was a guy standing next to me singing along who knew every word to all of their songs, and I saw a girl nearly “lose her shit” when she got to meet the guitarist/singer for the group Ivan Howard, which was pretty embarrassing for him and had me laughing.

The Shout Out Louds, from Sweden, were the headliners. Although I was obviously there for The Rosebuds, they were quite good and I ended up watching their entire set pretty closely while trying to also gab with my friends. They reminded me very much of The Thrills, but with a front man who had obviously grown up learning to sing by listening to a lot of Cure records - he was like a mini-Robert Smith minus the make-up and hairspray. Those Swedes sure know how to write some catchy songs, and this group is no exception; I went in thinking I only knew a couple of their tracks, but ended up recognizing about half of their set although I'm not completely sure how - osmosis from standing near their record often maybe?

It was a fantastic show all around, and the night ended with an “official” afterparty for The Shout Out Louds at the Beauty Bar. I tagged along with The Rosebuds to check out the scene, but ended up staying until closing cause the Shout Out Loud kids were playing such good music. The bonus to it all was the Tamale Lady showed up at closing and everyone got to experience her magic, many of whom seemed ready to start following her around like the next coming of the Grateful Dead. Of course, they aren’t the first to feel this way…

Read our previous Rosebuds reviews:
July 29, 2004 @ The Cat's Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC
August 5, 2005 @ Bimbo's
September 27, 2005 @ Bottom of the Hill