Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Les Savy Fav (with Hannibal Buress) – 9/9/09 – The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY

Les Savy Fav seems to embody a similar aesthetic to The Hold Steady – aging indie rock guys who are taking bits and pieces of the great punk, hardcore and rock n roll that preceded them and rolling it into one sound that can only be called “post hardcore”. If The Hold Steady are Springsteen with a punk rock aesthetic, then Les Savy Fav are The Pixies with a Dischord Records aesthetic thrown in. It’s as if Ian McKaye and Fugazi learned how to have fun, spit brew and rock out like complete maniacs.

This is a tremendous live rock band, with frontman Tim Harrington providing some of the most entertaining shit going on right now. The band behind him is tight as hell and plays with real purpose – the rhythm chugs and the lead guitar whips through some nice unique sounds, all while Harrington prances around in nothing but briefs that are barely supported by his impressive beer gut.

On this night, Harrington started by coming out dressed in faux army fatigues and a white Italian “Polizia” hat. He seemed to be pretending to be in the jungles of ‘nam, shooting the audience members and radio-ing for backup until the band kicked in and the beer spitting and striptease started. It’s an incredibly hilarious and awesome scene, the guy just jumping off the stage into the crowd, prancing around amongst the audience, singing from the bar, climbing the walls and donning costume after costume, every stitch of which ended up on the floor.

The new Brooklyn version of The Knit is really nice and not that much different than Music Hall of Williamsburg – a compliment, for sure -- with great sight lines and $5 Ommegang Witte brews, and best of all, a window in the back of the music room that allows people in the outside bar to see all the goings-on inside. In the case of Les Savy Fav, they might have seen a fat, bald dude pressed against said window, threatening to drop his cut-off sweatpants.

I happen to think that their 2007 LP, Let’s Stay Friends, is one of the best records of the decade, and I’d heard about their wild live shows, so I was pretty excited to finally see these guys. They exceeded my expectations. This is a really great live band on all fronts and it was made even better by the fact that The Knit seemed to want to avoid overselling this show, so a room with a capacity of 300 seemed to only bring in 200 or so people. Plenty of room to move around, never more than 30 feet from the stage, $5 Omegang Witte brews and “Patty Lee” rocking your headpiece. This was very much worth every penny of the $17 entrance fee.

BV’s pictures tell most of the story. Go see this band. We got the picture above from the Village Voice here.

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