PS I LOVE YOU with FROG EYES at the Drake Hotel, Tuesday, August 19. Rating: NNN
Frog Eyes' frontman Carey Mercer was forced to start playing while the band waited for their drummer to "put his pants on." He defused the nervous laughter by finger-picking a new track on his own before the other members kicked in with The Road Is Long. Mercer's quirks transformed into a compelling stage presence. His voice quivered and rose as he relied heavily on the band to take their cinematic and cabaret-influenced rock in strange directions (not nearly as strange as his stage banter, however).
Afterward, the guitar and drums duo PS I Love You cranked out a relentlessly loud and fuzzy set. Their playful new track Bad Brain Day worked just as well live as the heavier tracks from their first two records. Its simplicity showcased the naked emotion - inherent in many of the band's songs - that is usually drowned out by feedback.
Guitarist Paul Saulnier blamed summertime pneumonia for making it "hard to sing." His voice did break at times, but he made up for it with his trademark wild pedal work. The crowd had thinned drastically by that point, but the duo sent the remaining fans into the night with ringing ears.