Monday, December 17, 2007

Fuck the champagne, we want gin! (Les Savy Fav. El Rey Theater. December 15)

Saturday at the El Rey was a smash, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Les Savy Fav, one of this decade's best rock bands. I'd actually had a chance to get a lengthy interview from Harrison Haynes, Andrew Reuland and Seth Jabour, the group's drummer and guitarists, prior to the show (results will be at Campus Circle in a month or so), and Haynes had admitted that he liked not having much more than a loyal cult following because he didn't like the idea of playing venues much larger than the El Rey. Jabour mostly agreed, though reasoning that it wasn't just a larger venue size but a mainstream frat boy fan base that he'd hate Les Savy Fav to adopt. They like their fans, and they don't want to become Modest Mouse.

The show itself was a much needed party on Wilshire, with the venue sadly about half-full during great opening sets by We Barbarians and the Dodos, suddenly finding us packed by the time Tim Harrington poked his shiny dome out from the velvet curtain. I'd befriended a massive LSF fan next to me prior to the show's start, a girl who stood her ground at front and center only to faint and get hauled off near the end of the Dodos' supporting set. What she ended up missing was a chance to be selected as a toy soldier at the show's encore, a chance to get pulled on stage and draped over Tim Harrington (which happened during the first five minutes of the set), and a chance to get kissed on the mouth (which Harrington did to about four people, including the male friend of mine who later admitted that the boy kiss was “pretty good!”).

Nipples were caressed, water was spat and sprinkled, and the four musicians of Les Savy Fav (including silent trooper of a bassist Syd Butler) put on one of the finest, tightest performances this side of the recording studio. After a quick 45 minutes of our crowd shouting along the lyrics to great shit like “Scout's Honor” and “Yawn Yawn Yawn,” the group returned for a half-hour encore, with Harrington dressed as pantless Santa, offering his Christmas services to a timid audience member who sat all too excitedly on lap.

About five or six giant teddy bears were ripped apart, ass first, and tossed out to us only to get viciously decapitated. This, so each of us could claim a paw, head (or in my case, nose) to take home as a violently earned souvenir. Waves of cotton snow showered over us and created a layer on the floor by show's end. By the time we all left the venue, we were showing off our various bear parts to one another and watching some crazed fan run into the street at a red stoplight to shriek and wave around the head of a bear he'd captured. The next morning, Wilshire was comparably quiet, but some cotton stuffing could still be found as far as a block west of the theater. Les Savy Fav may very well be the sexiest band in the world.

Les Savy Fav - Scout's Honor
(from the fanfuckingtastic 3/5, released when Harrison Haynes and Andrew Reuland were merely credited as coyote handler and stunt man, respectively)

Also, purchase new record Let's Stay Friends to make up for the thousands who grabbed the leak instead.


Anonymous said...

nice summary, great shots.

i don't have 3/5 on me to check, but i'm pretty sure the original l.s.f. 2nd guitarist was gibb, not andrew. gibb left after the cat & the cobra.

China said...

No, that's right - Andrew wasn't a guitarist until Let's Stay Friends, nor was Harrison their drummer until Cat and the Cobra. But they're both in the credits (under the band listing) as extras, likely just as thanks.