So it’s been a few months since I’ve been to a concert. I finally got to fix that and saw Menomena Saturday night. The show was at The Urban Lounge so it was that small show setting that is the just the best for concerts. Guards was the opening band, and they were pretty much all you can want out of an opener. They played some upbeat indie rock. I wasn’t really digging the first couple of songs they played. I’m not sure if was me just not quite being in concert mode yet or the songs being not that good. It was probably the former, although I do remember being a little disappointed by these guys. When they were setting up they had four mics for their five member band. I saw this and got my hopes up to hear some nice harmonies, especially a female male combo between the keyboardist and guitarist, but those backup mics didn’t give much besides some ooh’s and echoing the lead singer. I got over my unwarranted expectations pretty quickly when Guards broke things down for a bit and just jammed. They did some fun things dynamically building into a loud ruckus and then bringing things down really soft only to build it up again. Before you know it Guards wrapped things up leaving the Lounge energized and ready for the main event.
Menomena opened their set in the same fashion as the last time I saw them, a.k.a. the pure awesomeness that is “Strongest Man in the World.” If your not familiar with Menomena let me explain something. They were formerly a trio of Justin Harris on the bass, saxaphone, foot synthesizer, and sometimes the guitar; Brent Knopf on the keyboard and guitar; and Danny Seim on the drums, and they all took turns singing on different songs and adding harmonies. Now they are just a duo of Justin and Danny, but on tour they pick up a couple buddy’s to fill in on the keyboard and guitar. So there is a keyboardist and a guitarist, they’re there, but we really don’t care about what they’re doing. Okay, I know there were some poorly constructed sentences in there, but hopefully it wasn’t too confusing. “Strongest Man in the World,” fantastic opener. That song is great because it lets Danny pound away on his drum set. The dude is a monster on the drums, the dude is a monster in general ( a.k.a. he’s really, really tall.) It’s kind of hard to explain why he’s so good at the drums. He plays on a fairly simple kit, only one cymbal besides the hi-hat, but he spices it up with some little things here and there. On some songs he wore a bracelet with a bunch of bells on it, for another he replaced on of his drum sticks with a shaker, but mostly he just plain rocks. Then you have Justin center stage rocking on his bass, and when he’s not playing that bass he still manages to make the whole lounge rumble with that foot synthesizer of his. Literally rumble, soo much rumbling that I had to constantly scratch my nose, and forced a sneeze out of a few people, but it was soo awesome that it overcame the annoyingness of an itchy nose. Then, on top of that he would occasionally bust out that saxophone which is just a lot of fun.
They played quite a few songs off of their new album Moms which was great, because it’s starting to win the fight to become my favorite album by them. “Don’t mess with Latexas” was a real highlight for me. It translated live much better than I was expecting it too, not that I was expecting it to be bad live, it was just especially good. All the songs they played were great, but some others I thought were especially good were “Heavy is as Heavy Does,” and “Plumage,” also from Moms, “Five Little Rooms” and “Pelican.” This was the last show of their tour so if you didn’t catch them on this round, I highly recommend catching them when they come through your town next.