Saturday, September 21, 2013

Live Review : Pinback@Terminal West

The one word to sum up a Pinback show is... fun. The San Diego duo has a passionate fan base, that connects with the live performance in a passionate manner similar to audiences at jam band show. In fact there is some cross over with the Phish crowd. While the main liberties the band take with the songs live tends to be their energy speeds up the more driving songs, rather than extend them into sprawling wanderings to get lost in noodling. Not that they are short on the chops as bassist Zach Smith  has an extremely dexterous style of playing, make him arguably rocks most under rated bass player. Live you are reminded just how much he holds down the ship allowing Rob Crow's weird vocalizations room to play. it would be easy to try to just dismiss the band as math rock, but the angular nature of what they do is balance out by melody that is often more brooding than Minus the Bear.

Speaking of Crow, he was slimmed down and look much healthier than the last time they swung though a little under a year ago.He switched from beer to drinking Jameson, which might factor in and his voice was stronger than when they played Terminal West last November. This set list was much heavier on their newest album "Information Retrieved". The audience seemed much more familiar with the selections from this album as it's had almost a year to sink in , though some of the most frantic response came from the songs from the first three albums. Toward the latter half of the set there was a cluster of songs from "Summer in Abaddon" that took the dancing to a more feverish pace.  

In recent memory the only show I have been to that have illicited such a joyous response , was Morrissey who is notorious for having a worshipful cult of followers, Pinback aren't putting themselves on  the same platform to be adorned. They have a very down to earth stage presence and seem very gracious towards their fans. Crow took his breakdance breakdown earlier in the set, dropping to the floor to perform the worm. He then climbed down from the stage to lead a sing a-long, which had him surrounded in a circle of camera phones.  

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