Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Presets @ El Rey

Walter Meego

opened for The Presets. It was a three-man band. The lead singer was wearing a grandpa cardigan and another member was wearing a Chicago Bears sweatershirt. It was kind of odd to see guys dressed like this playing electronica. W thought the singer looked like Cillian Murphy. I think not, more like the lead singer from Phantom Planet, but he was still pretty nonetheless. The singing was hard to hear. His voice wasn't exactly strong, but it wasn't bad. I liked that the guy doing the mixing was really into the music. He was dancing and bobbing his head and singing along. And it was interesting to see guitars being used even though they were kind of faint. The beats were just WAY too loud. Seemed like all I could hear was THUMP THUMP THUMP DA DA THUMP THUMP THUMP. Some of the songs were good though, the ones that had catchy guitar riffs. They didn't really do any talking in between sets and when they were done talking, they kind of just thanked everyone, mentioned their name, and left the stage. They weren't that memorable.

It was a sold out show. I was kind of surprised at how empty it was when we got there. There were less than 20 people standing at the front of the stage before Walter Meego came on. We had time to get 2 drinks and sit at the steps and chat. There were still barely any people standing near the stage and we arrived a bit late. However, after the first act, the floor started to fill up a bit more. When The Presets came on, it was crazy. I could barely see where the floor ended, there were so many people crammed into there. As soon as the first song started, I could tell someone was lighting up in the back. I was a bit surprised because it was an all ages show.

The Presets
I hadn't seen The Presets since they opened for The Rapture. The crowd didn't really know who they were, but they were still good and you could tell people were liking them by the awkward indie head bobbing they were doing. You know, where they're kind of afraid to dance, but the music is so good, they can't stop, so all they can do is stand in one place, cross their arms, and bounce a bit. Anyways, I was blown away when I first saw them. I went to buy their CD as soon as the show was over. The album was SO good. This time around, they definitely expanded their fanbase. They were headlining AND the show was sold out. Also, it made it a lot more fun this time because everyone knew the lyrics, and the handclapping was infectious.

I must say, at first I didn't like their new album as much because it sounded more like typical techno. I preferred the more indie rock/pop/techno of the first album. But the more I listened to the new album, the more I started to like it. Even though it's more techno, there are a lot of good songs on there that are really catchy. I still prefer the older album because it sounds atypical of techno, but the new album is still really enjoyable for that genre.

I loved how into the music everyone was. They were all dancing, fistpumping, ravedancing, any dancing, it was fantastic. I haven't danced so much since I saw The Rapture when I fought my way to the front. We were also at the front this time around and broke out the glow sticks (2 sticks for $1 at Target, baby! As soon as I saw them, I knew I had to have them for the show!).

We were the only ones with glow sticks, but we also saw someone with a blinking red bracelet and some people wearing glowing bracelets. So, I'd say this is probably the closest I'll ever get to being at a rave. It was incredible. And I know the music will NEVER be this good at a real rave.

They started off with "Talk Like That", which was perfect because it has the dramatic organ playing in the intro. One of my favorite songs from their new album, "Apocalypso". They played all my favorite songs from both albums. You could hear EVERYONE singing along to the songs from the first album. My favs:

- Are You the One?
- Down Down Down
- Girl and the Sea - which I normally find kind of slow going, but it was way better live than on CD and they managed to make it much more danceable live.
- Girl (You Chew My Mind Up)
- I Go Hard, I Go Home
- Steamworks

- Eucalyptus
- Kicking and Screaming
- My People
- A New Sky
- This Boy's in Love
- Together
- Yippiyo Ay - sounds really 80s, but super catchy.

It was so great to hear all my favorite songs and they ended with "My People" before the encore, which was PERFECT. I had been waiting to hear that ALL night (I'm sure everyone was waiting to hear that), so all the anticipation made that song even better. It was soooooo good. Everyone was jumping around, hands in the air. The Presets rocked it so hard and then when the song was over and they left the stage, you could practically hear this collective sigh from exhaustion. No one left, of course, and then they came back out for one last song and it was AMAZING. It had these ups and downs and then this great climax near the end, in which we threw our glow sticks onto the stage. Impeccable timing and then it was over. I love when bands end the show with this amazing last song that leaves you wanting more and thinking "DAMN, that was one of the best shows I've been to in a LONG time." and it's true!

High Note: Hearing "My People" live, waving glow sticks, and seeing people actually DANCE at a show. Also, people were surprisingly polite. One guy moved in front of me and then turned around to ask if he was blocking me. Another guy let W stand in front of him and accidentally stepped on my foot while he was dancing and actually apologized.

Low Note: This girl next to us was dry humping her man, making out with him, and falling all over the place. She was totally gone. Luckily, she didn't fall on me because I would've been pissed.