It was a sold-out night and I had bought tickets about a month ago – but I was wondering if I was going to sorely regret giving Does It Offend You, Yeah?‘s live show a chance when the opener immediately before them had me furrowing my brow in confusion. To be honest, the fact that Does It Offend… were playing The Troubadour was almost half the draw for me. The sound and yes, vibe,Â in that historic place is still hands-down the best I have ever experienced. And Does It Offend…’s debut album is respectable. I was curious about the energy they could bring a live show.
I get that the theme of the acts of the night were of the electronic punk-y variety. Team Robespierre, though,Â were just all-out screaming with no substance – or melodic line, for that matter – behind their tunes. Was this music supposed to make me care in any shape or matter? Was it even trying? I was surprised to find that Pitchfork gave their album an average rating of more thanÂ 6, while ratingÂ Does It Offend…’s albumÂ a mere 2.3. (Actually, I take that back – because for the visibility Pitchfork’s reviews have achieved, I have a hard time taking their reviews seriously as it seems they speak to a certain prescribed indie “aesthetic” than actually giving albums a fair shake.)Â If you got the punk without the attitude or angst behind it – if that’s even possible -Â at least makeÂ your live showÂ listenable. I callÂ that the “bare minimum.”
Even though I came in during the second-to-last song of Dragonette, whose female lead I found absolutely adorable, I found them extremely likeable. But I was fuzzy on their longevity and couldn’t tell if I would enjoy listening to them over an extended period of time. Team Robespierre blew the answer of that rhetorical questionÂ out of the water, for me; I couldn’t even listen to an entire song.
But whenÂ the headlinerÂ came on stage, I was relieved to find that it was easy to get excited about their punky electronic ‘tude. Of course, it’s not as if my expectations were especially high asÂ they only have one album out, but they definitely delivered and the crowd was going wild. Mosh wild. And it was a polite mosh pit as opposed to an angry one, where people were concerned that they didn’t hurt the others around them so they mostly jumped up and down instead. And everyone was happy, to the point that the weird tall guy in front of me kissedÂ the face of theÂ random girl next to him during “Let’s Make Out” (oh right, while slapping another girl’s armÂ during another song).Â
The performance confirmed to meÂ that The Troub is the best place to hear live music. Having a decent live act behind that sound system doesn’t hurt, of course – and put on a great live show they did. As easy as it is to tick the songs off your only album one by one, they mixed it up a decent amount and kept things interesting by fueling our energy with a good amount of their own enthusiasm.
And the show is never complete until the lead singer breaks an ankle. Yeah, that’s basically whatÂ happened on the last song before the encore. But the Brits were good sports about it, and they played one of two songs they already hadn’t as the encore with James sitting on a stool. Hope your ankle heals fast, dude.
Does It Offend You, Yeah? on Wiki