Tapes ‘n Tapes stopped by The Independent on Friday night. It’s the Wednesday after and I’m still reeling. After seeing them at Bottom of the Hill earlier this year, I didn’t think they’d be able to top it but I thought they would play well. Bottom of the HIll is perfect for their style of stripped-down, loud indie rock I reasoned, sharing a stage with Art Brut at a bigger stage probably isn’t. As usual, I was wrong.
Tapes ‘n Tapes and Art Brut co-headlined, with the four-piece Tapes ‘n Tapes trotting out first. At first glance, there were only a few whooping Tapes ‘n Tapes fans and I was a bit surprised. I soon realized the SF crowd was just a slow starter. Muffled conversations filled the first three songs, but halfway through the fourth, you couldn’t hear anyone or anything, except the band. And the effect was goosebump-worthy. Naturally, I would assume that Tapes ‘n Tapes (and the tech) heard the noise and turned up each amp to drown out the ocean’s noise, but I know better. They always play that loud. After riffling through a solid amount of oldies (much more than they played at Bottom of the HIll) and over half the tracks from their newest LP, Outside, (my favorite of the night being ‘On and On’) the spent band sent the spent crowd crowing. If they weren’t better than their earlier SF show, then they were just as good. Here’s to hoping they play in SF this year…one can hope.
After Tapes ‘n Tapes, Engish/German art rockers Art Brut rolled out. After they began with a tribute to Guns and Roses (or maybe just Axel Rose), I knew that I was not going to be able to understand what I was watching. The fans that stayed surely enjoyed it, but I’m not entirely sure what it was. Between bouts of good, old-fashioned garage rock, the lead singer, Eddie Argos, expounded on his past memories and philosophies of life to an extent that I forgot that I was watching an indie-rock show. I guess I should have better prepared. Though, I do have to give him/them credit: I’ve never seen the majority of a crowd at any venue (much less at the Independent) follow a lead singer as he lead them to sit/kneel on the floor to have a chat. Live versions of their songs seemed much louder than the recordings and it served the band and the fans well.