posted by catherine / September 15, 2005 /

quick report from the bloc party show at the congress theater:

  • it's official: i am in love with bloc party drummer matt tong and want to bear 10 million of his drumming babies (even though without his shirt he looks like a shrunken-chested 12 year-old asian kid from middle school with a TS-82 [and i can make fun of asians because i'm a little bit asian, fo real]). the man is a force of nature. or else he is an alient robot, sent to earth to be a drumming machine. and TO RAWK.

  • kele wore a michael jordan bulls jersey, proving that even though he may be kind of an asshole, he's still adorable.

  • and finally, the truth about concert audiences: i'd been dying to know if it was a fact that d.c. crowds suck, or if people just make that up and every crowd acts the same. well...i hate to say it, d.c., but in comparison to this particular chicagoan crowd: you got your ass kicked to the moon and back. it's just nice to be able to dance and sing along to a band and not feel like a complete idiot and instead feel like you're one of many people having a great time.

    maybe a more detailed review tomorrow, depending on how many cardboard boxes i feel like demolishing or not.

  • Comments

    I'd like to argue, but I really can't. It was a great, mostly well-behaved crowd. And when it wasn't well-behaved, it was self-policing.

    Also, Matt Tong is amazing. Definitely one of the three best drummers that I've seen (that I can remember, anyway). Max Weinberg and the guy from Dismemberment Plan are the only competitors that come to mind out of the live acts I've seen.

    Posted by: tom on September 15, 2005 12:32 AM

    Matt Tong is good, don't get me wrong, but he's definitely not the cat's meow. Four indie-rock drummers* immediately come to mind who would blow Matt Tong out of the room in a live setting:

    (as mentioned) Joe Easley from D-Plan
    Cale Parks from Aloha
    Zack Barocas from Jawbox

    & god himself
    Noah Leger from Taking Pictures & Hurl (RIP)

    Noah is simply phenomenal. There's really no comparison. He's like Clemens while everyone else is toiling in the minors. Taking Pictures is based in Chicago, but they rarely play out, if they're still around. It's worth checking them if they do, just to see the man in action.

    But I'm curious, what makes Tong so great? Yes, he plays up-tempo, throws a lot of straight fills, and they have a couple of songs in odd time signatures, but that's all I really see. You could replace him with a few other better than good drummers (like Sam Fogarino from Interpol, Trail of Dead's Conrad Keely, Harrison Haynes from Les Savy Fav) and nothing would really change. What does he do that pushes him farther?

    * When mentioning stellar indie rock drummers, one always has to mention Damon Che (Don Cab, Bellini), but whatever. Been there, done that. It's time to move on.

    Posted by: j o h n on September 15, 2005 10:23 AM

    This is where I plug Travis Nelsen (Swearing at Motorists, Okkervil.)

    Posted by: the g. on September 15, 2005 10:28 AM

    Conrad Keely almost vomited on me once.

    Posted by: Kriston on September 15, 2005 10:47 AM

    Wow, I haven't thought about Hurl in ages. I must have seen them play 5 or 6 times while I was living in Pittsburgh. I've never had a chance to see Taking Pictures though. Of course, talking about Pittsburgh drummers brings to mind Damon Che of Don Caballero who I'd put on any list of greats. I'll need to go dig up my Hurl and Don Cab discs now and relive the CMU glory days.

    Posted by: Drew on September 15, 2005 11:29 AM

    What does he do that pushes him farther?

    I've got a feeling you're in a better position to answer that than I am. But my uneducated impression is simply that he plays hard, fast, and precisely. The band also does some fun stuff with dropping the tempo, then picking it up in slightly unexpected places. But I'm not sure that Tong can necessarily be credited with that.

    Posted by: tom on September 15, 2005 12:17 PM

    Yeah, Damon Cheómost def.

    Posted by: Kriston on September 15, 2005 01:45 PM

    john mcentire anyone?

    Posted by: casey on September 15, 2005 01:54 PM

    yes, john mcentire and travis nelson, along with guys like tod trainer, chad molter, frantz etienne of c-clamp, the do make say think/bss guys, engine down's cornbread compton, are highly creative & extremely talented drummers. but as i was referring to a list of the more exciting LIVE drummers, ones that blow you away live, in terms of precision, ferocity, dynamicism, rawkness, blah blah blah.

    drew - taking pictures is essentially hurl v2. but since it's now a power trio, noah's work seems to take center stage more. saw them black cat backstage 2 years ago, it was like noah was the only performer there. matt & mat could have lit themselves on fire and no one would have noticed.

    Posted by: j o h n on September 15, 2005 02:55 PM

    Tatsuya Yoshida could kick all their asses.

    Almost every Chicago audience I've been a part of, with a few exceptions (John Cale, the Ex, some glam band whose name I can't recall), has been of the cross-your-arms-and-stand-still variety.

    Posted by: ben wolfson on September 15, 2005 04:11 PM

    I see your Zach Barocas and raise you Jon Wurster (Superchunk).

    Posted by: the ghost on September 15, 2005 06:52 PM

    i caught bloc party at roseland last week. did your show start absurdly early also? the concert was over by 11pm...i've been to shows that didn't even start until 11! people we literally arriving at 10:45 so they only got to see 15 mins.

    Posted by: David on September 16, 2005 12:35 AM

    yeah! it was really early, like 930 or 10 (even with two openers). i thought at the time it was just a thing with the venue, but maybe all their shows are like that. weird.

    Posted by: catherine on September 16, 2005 10:44 AM

    If Taking Pictures is a continuation of Hurl, I definetly will be making plans to see them if they ever come to D.C. again, j o h n.

    Posted by: Drew on September 16, 2005 10:44 AM

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