I am always cheered by all-ages shows. True, I feel a bit like a hipster granny at them much of the time, but it restores my faith to see the adolescent set decked out in their alt-rock finest staying out too late on a school night. The Tuesday night Art Brut show at the Key Club did not disappoint in that regard. There were plenty of adorable fifteen year-olds knocking back Red Bulls and making moon eyes at Eddie and Jasper (oh, okay, that was me–what of it?).
The show was put on by Spin Magazine who must have had some logic in mind when they lined up the opening acts (though said logic escaped me–hmm, let’s choose two djs and an alt-hillbilly act to open for a Brit Pop band). Mercifully we missed the first DJ, Highspeeddub, but we did suffer through the set from The Young Americans, which might not have been so bad except that it was too long by half. Though when the opening band, Whispertown2000, came on, things went from bad to worse. Somehow, Whispertown2000 calls themselves a “soul” band, but listen to their stuff on their myspace page and you tell me. Their lead singer has this “I’m alone in my car on a long road trip style of vocal delivery” that made me and my friend Portia feel more than a little like we were trapped at a high school talent show. (You know it’s bad when you’re staving off boredom by building houses of cards and matchbooks.)
Happily, Art Brut made up for the hours of opening act agony (agony exacerbated by the fact that the only seats in the house were roped off for VIP asses Spin Magazine butts we assumed). AB played a long set with plenty of material off both of their albums and some b-sides I hadn’t heard, but Portia knew from Little Radio. It was just a good old fashioned fun pop show. All of the times I’ve seen AB I’ve been impressed by their ability to look like they’re having an unbelievably good time, and Eddie Argos is such a charming front man he almost makes you wonder why other singers don’t grow a little paunch and let their hair get too shaggy. For all that, we didn’t stay for the afterparty despite Key Club staffers urging everyone to do so. It was a school night afte rall. And I’m not fifteen anymore.