DISMEMBERMENT PLAN with CEX and DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE at the Reverb, March 19. Tickets: $12. Attendance: 400. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
washington, dc, post-punk-soul darlings Dismemberment Plan whipped the Reverb's room of young SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys -- you know, the adorable scruffy dudes in hoodies) and pierced 'n' pink-haired chicks into an ecstatic orgy of indie excitement.There wasn't a low point during their 90-minute set. These impeccable musicians flailed through snarling punkish freak-outs and goofy, funktronic Devo-ish numbers with gusto. True to their name, the band hacked apart a massive stuffed lizard onstage. Forget Ozzy decapitating bats. You ain't seen nothing till you've been sprayed with mouthfuls of powdery stuffed animal innards.
Singer-guitarist-keyboardist Trevor Morrison could give lectures on the fine art of fronting a band. Dude has unselfconscious wit, a pleasingly quirky voice, audible delivery (so rare in the indie universe), guitar chops and the ability to reduce a packed room to silence in seconds.
Morrison charmed with improvised riffs on stupid fan tricks and stupid Americans, invited a few drunken hooligans up front onstage to show off their slam-dancing skills and silenced the cheering audience with a genuinely moving show of gratitude for the Canadian outpouring of post-9/11 support.
This guy should make a set of how-to tapes -- he could be the indie rock Tony Robbins!
The advance tix for the triple bill at stated the 7 pm start time clearly, but judging from the forlorn faces walking in just as Death Cab for Cutie capped off their set, a lot of people didn't read the fine print.
They didn't miss much. The shaggy-haired slowcore Cuties gave a basically banal performance. The stress of touring? An off night? Either way, their set dragged as they eschewed audience interaction in favour of a low-key navel-gazing vibe.
DCFC's set wouldn't have seemed like such a downer if the next act hadn't been such an explosive example of everything beautiful about rock "n' roll. The Cutie-pies could stand to learn a thing or two from their transcendent tourmates.
Props to wunderkind promoter Eric Warner from Whacked Out Productions. Warner's making sure T.O. under-21s get to see some of the coolest indie groups out there.
But most folks in this city are used to arriving at a club in the vicinity of 9 or 10, so if you wanna start a show early, make sure you publicize it like mad.