"Thanks for letting a bunch of Limeys like us play your rally," said Scot and Greenpoint resident Alex Kapranos. "We only hope you'll invite us back for your victory party." It was a fun night in support of who many of us hope will be the next President of the United States. Downstairs the debate played on a projection screen and numerous LCD monitors to a packed crowd; upstairs bands got about four songs each, with comedic interruptions from Eugene Mirman, Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead, and Kumail Nanjiani.
Hands-down highlight was headliner Andrew Bird, who should play before all Obama functions -- he's capable of swaying just about anyone to his side. On record, I find him a little precious but live he's much more rock while preserving that quirky quality that makes him special. Much violin, much whistling, much awesome.
Franz Ferdinand, playing a four-song warm-up to their show the next night at the same venue (which they last played in February 2004, the show that sent NYC into a tizzy), were loose, playing two songs off their debut ("Take Me Out," "Dark of the Matinee") and two new songs. Clearly having fun, they'll probably be in Impress Mode on Wednesday.
Additionally: Fiery Furnaces may have played all new songs, I didn't recognize an of them at least. Once again, they've reinvented themselves since last seeing them at MHOW last December. They're now organ-heavy, early '70s funk. I still marvel at Elanor's ability to memorize Fiery Furnaces insanely-verbose lyrics.
Guster I have never cared about. They are pleasant and entirely inoffensive but not very interesting to these ears, which maybe explains why singer Adam Gardner told the crowd they'd received hate mail for playing this show. Clearly, and maybe not surprisingly, much of their fanbase just likes the nice tunes and don't realize they actually have an opinion on the world around them.
The comedians winged it for the most part. Eugene Mirman showed highlights from his 23/6 trip to the RNC. Lizz Winstead was more clever than actually funny. And only Nanjiani made the crowd really laugh, though he was telling jokes about the NYC subway and The Goonies. Chunk trumps politics every time.
More photos from the event on my Flickr page.