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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Be The Riottt! - ASOBI SEKSU

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon leading up to the first (annual?) BE THE RIOTTT! Festival in San Francisco. And even though I only live a short two-blocks' stroll from the Bill Graham Civic Center, I and my SKY REPORT cohorts TROPHY (XLR8R) and JACOB LANE (sf painter/artist) were hungover and slow-moving in our quest to get off our asses and head down to the festival. After a late brunch, many cups of coffee and a few beers shots, we finally made it down the street.

We missed TOKYO POLICE CLUB, which wasn't such a bad thing. I kinda dig their songs, but they sound really young. They're still growing on me.

ASOBI SEKSU took the stage shortly after 6PM. The band seemed a bit perplexed at first, enduring what seemed like their first soundcheck under the ironic blasting of AC/DC'S "Back In Black" album. Lead singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate distracted herself by wrapping red Christmas tree lights around her microphone. But, what felt like a lukewarm start slowly built into a captivating set, and the crowd's momentum followed the same pattern. The first real highlight was the blazing "New Year's", which soared like a driving, dream pop juggernaut. The song climaxed into an ear-deafening wall of noise, then gave way back to the pounding, angelic chorus - a few moments of pure heaven.

After a warm rendition of their recent single "Thursday", the NYC post-shoegaze fourtet teased the audience with a few bars of THE CRYSTALS' 60's girl-group classic "Then He Kissed Me" before blasting through the hypnotic opus "Red Sea". As the searing finale disintegrated into a droning maze of guitars and synthesizers, puncuated constantly by Yuki's high-pitched melodies, the band erupted into a ferocious cover of "Kissed Me", played out in it's entirety.

ASOBI SEKSU were a great start to a solid night of fresh music.

To Be Continued...THE PRESETS...

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