at the Bluebird Theater
October 31, 2007
by Mark Tatum
Because I see so many different bands each year I really look forward to those that are different in some basic way. The Raveonettes are different in several ways: They are from Denmark. They are fronted by just a man and woman, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo. They share vocal and guitar duties on songs filled with clangy reverb, a touch of surf guitar and Ronettes, The Velvet Underground, meloncholy vocals and a wall of sound.
The Raveonettes are touring ahead of the release of their newest album, “Lust Lust Lust” which is due in Europe next week. The album doesn’t have a US label associated with it yet and the release here is expected to be some time in 2008.
Denver was their last US stop on this short tour and it was only Sune, dressed in black pants and a striped shirt, Sharin in a plain red dress and Leah Shapiro, the drummer for this tour, who only had a tom-tom and snare, who took the stage. Since I am in love with the gigantic sound of their music I wondered exactly how they would do that with such a minimalistic setup.
I wasn’t disappointed as they immediately filled the room with their trademark guitar sound. Sune and Sharin both played their Jazzmaster guitars. Sune would sometimes play individual melody notes while Sharin added distortion, but they spent much of the time playing the same notes together. It was fascinating to watch.
They both sang nearly every word in a dreamy, reverb harmony. There was a recorded bass line on some parts which the drummer controlled, but it was mostly the simple tom-tom and snare that kept everything together. It all seemed so simple and so impossibly complicated at the same time.
They played many songs from their previous albums and the first five songs from the new album. Their new songs, some of which you can hear on their myspace page, are more guitar-driven than their previous release “Pretty in Black.”
Some of their earlier albums have been an acquired taste for me. It has often been difficult to get past the layers of sound and reverb and really begin enjoying the songs. But for each of those albums I have kept with it and been rewarded with that addiction to great new music we are all searching for. After only a few listens of the new album I can feel that intense love affair beginning again.
Although the Halloween crowd at the Bluebird was not huge, they were very appreciative, even awestruck, by the super-surround experience The Raveonettes created. They are certainly different from other bands I see, and in this case different is very, very good.
That Great Love Sound
Let’s Rave On
Aly, Walk with Me
+2 encore songs