At 6-foot-somethingorother, Liars front man Angus Andrew is a magnetic, kind of menacing presence. Even in a raspberry colored suit. While sitting down.
As you may have heard, Andrew threw out his back shortly before Liars were to begin their current tour with No Age so he's being doing the shows from a chair. (The accompanying table is a nice touch.) For some bands this might have been a major setback but it didn't seem to affect Liars' ferocious performance at Warsaw one iota.
Actually, Andrew didn't sit down all that much. His back must be better and you could tell doing so sort of drove him crazy. Half the show he was up and around, looking like a wild-eyed evangelist, as the preached the sermons of "Freak Out," the Beckish "Houseclouds," "Plaster Casts of Everything" and others to the well-into-it Warsaw crowd.
Liars' latest album is one that I've listened to a lot but somehow passed me by when making my Best-of-2007 lists and after last night's show I wonder if it should've been there. Of all the bands who got their start in the early '00s aping "I Found That Essence Rare," Liars are probably the only one who've continued to evolve while still sounding like themselves. I really dig the dark, moody, rhythm-heavy band they've become (reminiscent of classic 4AD band The Wolfgang Press to these ears) which actually sounded great at Warsaw -- a venue whose acoustics I generally find to be way too boomy usually.
Back to his back. I'm really getting old -- every time he got up I was worried he was gonna mess up his back again. I was also nervous when Andrew went for the American flag to the left of the stage -- the Warsaw staff are fairly humorless -- and got even more nervous when he changed his mind and took down the Polish flag on the other side of the stage and held it aloft for the final number. But no issues arose or tempers flared that I could see -- and it was definitely a cool visual. Even if it clashed with his suit.
MP3: Liars - Freak Out (Buy It!)
Also there: Punk Photo, Water Cooler Gossip...though no reviews up yet as of this posting. Will add links as they happen.
I was also a little nervous when Andrew