Let Me Entertain You: The Raveonettes @ TLA 3.30.11

Starting a tour in support of a new album is tough enough, but The Raveonettes have it even tougher. To be fair, they bring a good lot of the additional work upon themselves with their restless creativity. Not only do Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo change around their sound with each album (more on their latest style later), but they mix up the arrangement of their passionate live shows as well. In the last few years, I’ve seen The Raveonettes materialize as a shoegazing trio, a traditional rock lineup, and an acoustic duo. The unsual sound of their new album, Raven In The Grave, warranted an appropriately unique live setup, which featured Sune and Sharin backed by two drummers, each playing his own sparse array of drum machine triggers. The dueling percussionists were often in complete locked rhythms with each other, giving an intense physicality to their presence.

This show was the first night of The Raveonettes’ current tour, though you wouldn’t know it from the tight arrangements and casual song transitions. It’s a testament to Sune and Sharin’s focus on their live presentations; they spend a lot of time on the road, and even more time preparing and rehearsing for their ever-changing performances. The setlist for the night unsurprisingly contained nearly all of Raven In The Grave’s songs. The album’s gloomy, spacious textures came across as captivating and arresting when set alongside more lively songs from previous efforts. Beginning the set was “War In Heaven,” a midtempo tune with some hesitant phrasing. Over the next few songs, the band alternated new tunes with selections from Lust Lust Lust, including “Dead Sound” and “Lust.” Every one of the Raveonettes’ releases was touched on, though the older material was mostly drawn from 2002’s Whip It On and their 2005 breakthrough, Pretty In Black. Chain Gang Of Love and In And Out Of Control were only represented by one song each (“The Love Gang” and “Heart Of Stone,” respectively), but the crowd seemed to be quite taken with the new compositions.

The main set ended with “Recharge & Revolt,” Raven In The Grave’s opener. It’s the band’s longest song to date, and it served as an exciting conclusion. For the encore, Raven’s lead single, the Sharin-led “Forget That Your Young” and Lust’s opening squall, “Aly Walk With Me” showed the equally playful and fierce sides of the band. They may always be evolving, but The Raveonettes are never afraid to reexamine their own roots and mine their discography for both longtime fans and newcomers. Rarely can a band that changes so often make their new material fit so seamlessly into their existing catalogue. Seeing the Raveonettes in concert is always a delight; witnessing their entire creative trajectory over the course of an hour and a half is even better.

Click the picture at the top of this post to see more pictures of The Raveonettes in concert!!

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~ by E. on April 6, 2011.

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