Broadcast / Atlas Sound Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC October 30
Published Nov 02, 2009According to our sources, Atlas Sound's van broke down outside of Seattle, leaving Bradford Cox to make the trip to Vancouver minus his band. Admirable, considering many acts would have cancelled outright, especially if they were only the openers.
It's unfortunate, then, that Cox spent most of the evening complaining about people talking during his set. At first it was funny, but the whining became uncomfortable as it dragged on. After one long and rambling tirade, an audience member kindly suggested that he "play a fucking song," and Cox responded by inviting said audience member to perform a lewd sexual act. And while songs like "Shelia" from Atlas Sound's new Logos LP lent themselves well to a solo performance, the whole experience likely left a bad taste in many audience members' mouths.
All was forgiven, though, as Birmingham, UK dream pop legends Broadcast took the stage. James Cargill's analog electronics and Trish Keenan's spooky vocals gave the proceedings a Halloween-appropriate atmosphere. Broadcast are notably darker-sounding than other bands of the genre (Stereolab, for example), and their performance accentuated the nihilistic, drone-influenced aspects of their sound, perhaps at the expense of their often-underrated songwriting.
Preferring to let their Spirograph-inspired visuals take centre stage, Keenan and Cargill hid in the shadows on either side of the projection screen, letting the sounds and lights combine to create a sort of head-bobbing hypnosis in the damp and unruly Vancouver audience.