Siren Fest 2k9: The Headliners

22 07 2009

By Jillian Mapes (@jumonsmapes)

SIREN FEST 007 by PalestraMusic. The Raveonettes Sune Rose Wagner at Siren Fest 2009; photo by Jillian Mapes.

SIREN FEST 007 by PalestraMusic. The Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner at Siren Fest 2009; photo by Jillian Mapes.

“Sorry we’re not very talkative; we’re trying to concentrate. We haven’t played in a very long time, and we all live in four different parts of the world,” Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes told the sun-baked crowd Saturday at Siren Fest in Coney Island. In fact, The Raveonettes almost made it to a half-birthday sans live performances, their last show before Siren Fest taking place in L.A. on Jan. 24.

But the time away has not phased the Danish noise-pop duo, who played the second headlining spot at Siren Fest’s main stage. Wagner and bandmate Sharin Foo played a set filled with old favorites including “Aly, Walk With Me” and “Expelled From Love,” both from 2007’s “Lust Lust Lust.” The band’s surf-rock sound seemed a perfect fit for the beach-side setting of Coney Island, though its look was New York cool (Wagner was clad in all white — and in an impossibly hip “Like a Virgin” Madonna tee — and Foo sported all black and *gasp* heels).

Fans looking for a debut of tracks from the band’s upcoming release, however, were left disappointed. The group said it didn’t have time to learn tracks from “In and Out of Control,” due Oct. 6 on Vice Records. Surely fans are in store for even more noisy pop filled with vintage influences, cryptic lyrics and trance-like repetition, unless The Raveonettes have rethought their whole shtick.

Even at the group’s catchiest Saturday, such as on closing song, “Twilight,” The Raveonettes stayed incredibly poised, mild-mannered, even apathetic by appearances. And yet this big sound erupted in a dreamy, feedback-filled wall-of-sound. The band reminded fans that looks can be deceiving.

Built to Spills Doug Martsch at Siren Fest 2009; photo by Jillian Mapes.

Built to Spill's Doug Martsch at Siren Fest 2009; photo by Jillian Mapes.

Pacific Northwest indie stalwarts Built to Spill, who also kept the on-stage chit-chat to an absolute minimum, followed The Raveonettes’ performance at Siren Fest. “Sorry we’re so quiet. We’re trying to concentrate, just like The Raveonettes,” frontman Doug Martsch joked, all in good fun.

The band of bearded men, who headlined the previous night at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, also played a mix of established crowd-pleasers, including my own personal favorite, “Big Dipper.” That, combined with guitarist Brett Netson’s ability to smoke a cigarette while rocking out, was enough to justify the hour-plus subway ride out to Coney Island.

It’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the performances I saw from Black Francis’ latest synthy endeavor, Grand Duchy, as well as the kooky energy of Micachu and The Shapes. For me, Built to Spill was the absolute tops.

And the Nathan’s hot dogs didn’t hurt, either.

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8 11 2011
Looks at music #01: The Raveonettes «

[…] en materia, podemos observar que el look del vocalista y guitarrista de la banda Sune Rose Wagner, el que siempre está en juego con la indumentaria de Sharin Foo, coros, bajo y guitarra. El look […]

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