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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Secret Cities at Ace of Cups

You know what grinds my gears?

Unknown bands that never say what their name is.

The band (I'm assuming local) that opened for Secret Cities did not mention their name. Not before their set, not after their set, not even during their set. They mentioned that they have a CD for sale, "For two dollars, but you might be able to talk us down."

There are several reasons I'd like to know a band's name; if I like them and want to check 'em out later, if I despise them and want to be able to avoid them as if they were an airborne plague of HIV.

Whatever this band was called, they sat squarely in the latter encampment.

The drummer would periodically quit drumming, mid-song, to play what sounded like one of those little Casio keyboards you get out of the back page of a Boy's Life magazine for selling enough subscriptions or chocolate bars. It probably was an expensive piece of equipment, but that doesn't matter. He stopped drumming to play a ridiculously simple drum beat that was probably one of the pre-set beats on the thing already. 

I'm having trouble explaining this adequately, I think...

He could have played the exact same beat, that would have sounded a million times better, if he hadn't of stopped drumming to fool around with the shitty keyboard.

Lyrically, it was banal, ball-less, ballad, bullshit.

These dudes were, without doubt, the worst live band I've seen in my memory. 

However, the bassist, when not speaking to the crowd in a condescendingly faux-humble tone, was pretty good at playing his instrument.

The saddest part, was that the majority of the 30 people in attendance were friends of this band, and didn't stick around for Secret Cities.

Secret Cities is a three-piece from Fargo, North Dakota that is currently on a U.S. tour. They stopped at Ace of Cups on Wednesday, which sucks, because Wednesday is the worst night of the week for a live band to play in this city, and their opener was God-fucking-awful.

Secret Cities was very good. Their music was tight, they were humorous, "This next one is going to take you to a dark place. So hold your best girl close... and kill her." 

Unlike the first band, who seemed to try to be everything they could (and badly), Secret Cities knew exactly what they were trying to accomplish musically, and did it with gusto.


Myself and Random Black Guy had to ask 6 or 7 people before we found someone who knew who the band was.

Btw, Random Black Guy agreed with my assessment of the first band, and we agreed on how good Secret Cities was.

If they come back to Columbus (I hope they do, even though they were showed little love by a shitty crowd on a Wednesday night) I definitely recommend catching them. 

They even have a hot keyboard player; "We have stuff for sale over there and our hot keyboardist will be there too!" "No I won't." "Yes you will."

Secret Cities on Facebook

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