Elbow at Paradiso

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Elbow, originally uploaded by schilderman.

Wednesday night we went to Paradiso to see ElbowElbow is a band from Manchester that I have fallen in love with.  The lead singer’s voice is just raspy enough to give it character and he uses his voice like an instrument that he knows well.  What I really appreciate in a band is good musicianship.  In some ways Elbow reminds me of Starsailor, but the members of Elbow are better musicians I think.  The music is really varied, from lovely melodic love songs to hard, loud, jumping up and down get the body moving songs.  Their music is never ever boring.

I was in love with Lamb for a long-ish time.  I first heard them in 2002 (yes, I came late to the party) but they broke up in 2004 and I’ve missed them ever since.  Now maybe Elbow can kind of take their place.

Elbow have 4 albums out.  The first one is much quieter than the other 3.  I was really glad that DB already had the last 3 and played them at home often before we went to see them.  I could sing along.  🙂  I always like it when I can sing along.

There were a couple of very unique things that happened Wednesday night at Paradiso.  First, the crowd was actually quiet when the band was playing.  This may sound like a given, but let me tell you, Dutch concert goers just don’t know how to shut the f*** up.  Seriously.  The last concert we went to was also at Paradiso, to see Jamie Lidel.  Guys behind us talked about football the whole time.  Girls to the left talked about the boys on the right.  They have no respect.  They don’t care if they are disturbing anyone else.  Sometimes I think Dutch people are the most egotistical race on earth.

But Wednesday night everyone was listening.  They were quiet.  I thought “Wow, this band has serious fans who have packed Paradiso!”  DB said afterwards “Did you notice the place was half full with English people and that’s why it was so quiet?”  Yeah, well, we could both be right I guess.  It was wonderful.

Also, what was fun, was that Guy Garvey, the lead singer, asked the crowd to sing a song.  He asked for song suggestions from the crowd.  The best one was, believe it or not, “The Final Countdown”.  A really crappy song, but at least one that everyone would know and could sing along to.  They psyched us by instead playing their own songs instead of this crowd chosen one.  BUT, as the band walked off the stage, and we were ready to do the usual and expected clapping and stomping for the band to come back out again, the crowd started here and there to sing, and then the small groups coallesed into one unified voice singing, indeed, “The Final Countdown”.  It was surreal.  And the band came back out to play some more and I think they also found it surreal.

Bottom line:  check out this band.  They are excellent.  And if you are Dutch, remember, we are there to hear the band, not the story of your life in our ears!

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