It was an honor and a pleasure.

6 Dec

After Mapquest took my friend and I on the most illogical route to El Corazon in Seattle, we arrived just in time as the doors opened to see Rooney, Tally Hall and Crash Kings on the Wild One tour on Wednesday. Thankfully, we only had to wait outside for about ten minutes, because it was pretty darn close to freezing.

El Corazon is a small, but fairly intimate venue, with a great view from all vantage points. That night, the teenybopper crowd filling El Corazon differed starkly from those who worked there, covered in piercings and tattoos, dark hoodies and unkempt facial hair. I liked the odd juxtaposition, as it fit the contrasting lineup. The Crash Kings were up first, with their three-piece of Tony Beliveau on vocals and keyboard, brother Mike Beliveau on bass, and Jason Morris on drums. Tony was quite the showman, rocking out with a clavinet, a customized keyboard with guitar strings and a large whammy bar. Bassist and brother Mike played with multiple amps, making music both full and raw without a guitar, leading to rather a unique sound.

The three-piece Crash Kings played a short, but strong set, including first single “Mountain Man,” as well as other crowd-pleasers “1985,” “Raincoat,” “You Got Me,” and “It’s Only Wednesday,” which was recently featured in the film “Zombieland.” I hadn’t heard much of their music before the show, but I was thoroughly impressed with their stage presence, matching the intimacy of the venue with their brotherly synergy.

After their half-hour, Tally Hall came up on stage to set up their instruments, clad in suit shirts and vests, as well as fake mustaches to match their hair color. It fit Tally Hall’s persona perfectly, as they’re pretty much the nerdiest band I’ve heard since They Might Be Giants. Seriously, they referred to their own music as “wonky rock.”

What I love so much about Tally Hall is how funny they are, but they are genuinely good musicians, and they harmonize wonderfully, with guitarists Joe Hawley, Rob Cantor, keyboardist Andrew Horowitz and bassist Zubin Sedghi all bringing their own vocal style. To my delight, Tally Hall played some new songs, meaning a new record coming possibly soon, as it’s been a good 3 years since Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. But they did play a few of the hits from MMMM, “Welcome to Tally Hall,” “The Bidding,” “Ruler of Everything,” and “Good Day.” My favorite song was actually during Horowitz’s one singing part, “The Whole World and You,” and they got the whole crowd clapping with Horowitz’s adorable subtle lisp. The crowd surely loved the dapper crew, as the youngins surrounding me sang along to all of the words.

Cantor and Hawley had the most charm, saying that it was “an honor and a pleasure to be playing with Rooney and Crash Kings,” causing everyone to cheer loudly, so then they’d say it randomly throughout the half-hour set. I would have preferred longer than half an hour, and it would have been plausible, as we hit the road just after 11. An hour would have given them more time to banter, showing off their unique personas. But I was happy just the same.

Rooney was up next.

Following a long intro of the “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” theme music, building the palpable anticipation, it was obvious that most people there came to see Rooney. They were met with screaming girls, reminiscent of the reaction that the Jonas Brother might get, but with a few token drunk guys.

The foursome came out cool and casual, and started off with “Stay Away” off their eponymous debut back in 2003. It gave me a weird flashback to a little film that you may have seen at one point – “The Princess Diaries,” yeah, cause front man Robert Schwartzman was in that movie as Michael Moscovitz, Anne Hathaway’s love interest. As was the rest of Rooney, as Michael’s band. Sure, the movie was eight years ago, but I just can’t seem to get it out of my head.

That soon left my mind, as I moved from the one side of the stage where bassist Matthew Winter seemed to not be having any fun, to the other side of the stage where guitarist Taylor Locke captivated the crowd with his sweet riffs and undeniably flowy hair. Schwartzman did most of the talking, leading the room through a set list of oldies but goodies like “Blueside,” “Daisy Duke,” “Popstars,” which Schwartzman said they hadn’t played in a while, and brand new songs, one titled “Wild One” that drummer Ned Brower actually got to sing. And he was quite good.

Around 10:40, Schwartzman thanked Seattle profusely for being so great, and it caught me off guard, but made everyone laugh and cheer when Locke started playing random opening riffs from classic Seattle rock songs from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden.

“Ned’s from here, so we can do that,” Schwartzman said, “Well, born in Chapel Hill, and raised in Seattle.”

It made me smile. But nothing made anyone smile quite as much as the guy standing behind me who kept shouting “I Should Have Been After You” all night. He finally got his wish during the encore.

“Who wants “Simply Because?” Schwartzman asked the crowd.

People cheered.

“Tell Me Soon?”

People cheered.

“How about “I Should Have Been After You?”

And people went nuts.

“Okay, we’ll do it for that guy this one time.”

I was fine with that, as “I Should Have Been After You” was one of my favorite Rooney songs.

At the end of the night, my friend had a completely different experience watching Rooney on the opposite side of the stage as I did. So I guess it’s based on your vantage point. Robert’s the conversationalist, Ned’s got the charm, and Taylor’s got the charisma.

And Rooney’s surely got the light and bouncy pop rock to get you dancing, even on a Wednesday night before finals week.

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One Response to “It was an honor and a pleasure.”

  1. Marisa 12/11/2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Sweet pics, Abby!

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