March 31, 2006
Review by Jake Thomas
I’ve wanted to see Silversun Pickups for ages now, and by ages I mean probably the last 6 months or so that I’ve had their “Pikul” EP, which is ages in terms of the music world. For the life of me I can’t believe this band isn’t bigger, that EP is stellar and I think it has the ability to appeal to a wide number of music fans. Anyways, the band was fantastic live, despite being out of their element somewhat – the crowd was obviously there for hometown heroes Two Gallants and other than a handful of people (myself included), most folks were probably not there to see both groups. The Pickups played a few of their older tracks, most notably the stand-out EP opener “Kissing Familes” and some new material as well, probably from the album they have coming out this summer (that according to their drummer who I spoke with briefly at the merch table). They were noisy and poppy at the same time, swirling guitars and electronics and they could make me think of Swervedriver and the Pixies in the same song at times. The crowd was polite but didn’t seem to be terribly interested based on the applause, but no matter – even if they were talking over the band I couldn’t hear them for the cacophonous glory emanating from the stage. Hopefully they come back sooner and play a smaller venue, or at least open for a like-minded band who will bring in fans that can appreciate how good they are.
And that’s not a dis on Two Gallants, or their fans, but it did seem to be the case…those people were there to see the Gallants, and this was easily illustrated by how they freaked out when the band began playing, and how they sang along to much of their set. It’s pretty amazing to think how far this band has come, from playing in BART stations to house and warehouse parties to now selling out Bimbos. Having seen them at some of those early shows, in such an intimate setting, it makes it hard to really get into a gig of this size – which isn’t the bands fault, and it didn’t seem to bother the rest of the people there, so I’ll chalk it up to my own personal hang-up. I find this is often the case for me, the bigger the band gets the harder is to stay interested – you lose that close contact that made those early shows so immediate and memorable. Nonetheless, they sounded great in that shambolic way they have mastered, played a nice, long set, and surely gave most of the crowd exactly the show they were looking for. I have no idea what their draw is outside of the Bay Area, but if this gig is any indication they are really doing well for themselves, and that is awesome.
Check out our previous Two Gallants review:
October 19, 2005 @ Lobot Gallery
November 11, 2004 @ Swedish American Hall