Fratellis & Blood Red Shoes at Crescent Ballroom

By the time I got into the Fratellis, I was almost certain I’d never see them if I stayed in the US. So, when the announcement happened across my radar, I knew this was a show I’d been waiting for. Even better was the snug and intimate setting of the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ. With just enough good memories of the venue and twice as many nights listening to the Fratellis while singing along on a pair of steadily decaying headphones, there was no question on where I was spending my night. It was time to whistle for the choir on an unforgettable night.

Opening for the night was Blood Red Shoes from Brighton, England. I was instantly hooked by the strange melody this duet performed. Each song is like a new pain or startling confusion that urges you to explore further. Some paint an expression of torture and others lend you a moment of wonder wrapped with a bow. No matter the path you follow, Blood Red Shoes craft a collection of earworms that you couldn’t cut out even if you wanted to. A song that particularly stood out from the night was Speech Coma. Normally, I would write similar songs off as a disastrous monotony. Yet as I considered the lyrics further, I found deeper purpose within them. I was convinced the repetitive nature within the lyrics expressed the song’s point perfectly. Though that is something for the individual listener to decide for themselves. Nonetheless, Blood Red Shoes were a fantastic performance as I expect to be adding their entrancing songs to my collection soon and I’m grateful the Fratellis brought them along.

Then came the Fratellis. With a quick glance at the setlist, I’d heard at least half of the songs if not known close to a third of them by heart. The view wasn’t the best, but it was close, and I had a prime view of Barry Fratelli (Bass) as the boys from Glasgow, Scotland got started. There is a certain level of disappointment one feels when a favorite song, one known for being fast or energetic, is slowed to a crawl. While I love the mash of genre elements that make up the Fratelli’s music, what I love the most is the energy and speed given to their songs. They are like roller-coaster rides of late night adventures in a place you’ll never be. Yet, when even their slowest songs are slowed further, I found they didn’t enhance the mood or offered suspense. Instead, the songs I heard were nothing like what I used to listen to on those nights with busted headphones that I loved. While I still enjoy their music and still sing along when I listen to them on newer headphones with quality to do the Fratellis justice, the live experience was not what I expected nor hoped for. So as Jon Fratelli (Vocals/Guitar) took it easy or dropped a line or two for the audience to fill in, I was still playing the recorded version in my head.

When the night came to an end and I said goodbye to the Crescent Ballroom, until next time, I left almost the same as I arrived. I was still wanting for the rush that can only be delivered by music, being one of a crowd in a room of strangers. This show didn’t fulfil that want to my expectations. Blood Red Shoes took me on an adventure I never knew I wanted and hope to discover again. The Fratellis, on the other hand, are best left to the conveniently distributed method of my speakers. Wherever I choose to listen, I will always whistle for the choir the way the Fratellis did for me.

 

Photos taken by Pardo Photography

Written in tandem with the Torso Boy

Fratellis

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Blood Red Shoes

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