The Editors played a short but sweet set at Street Scene in San Diego. I had another concert conflict to contend with as Air was playing the Grove in Anaheim or the Editors were playing the Wiltern. It was a close call but I opted for the Editors because I have been enjoying their latest release "An End Has A Start".
Ra Ra Riot
Ra Ra Riot from Syracuse, NY opened the evening strongly with their blend of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene indie anthems with a sprinkle of the Rentals and the silky cello playing reminiscent of Sea Ray . They have soldiered on overcoming the unfortunate passing of their drummer John Pike earlier this year. They have a self titled EP release with 6 songs that I will be investigating.
Biffy Clyro had my attention before they started when I heard the menacing distortion of Simon Neil's (Guitars/Vocals) Fender Stratocaster guitar being soundchecked. I almost dug out my ticket stub to make sure I didn't go to the wrong concert. When Simon appeared on stage, he had a slight resemblance to Charles Manson with his long hair and beard. Biffy Clyro came to crush the audience as they played a heavy set that could easily have them opening for Mastodon or Machine Head. Their latest offering "Puzzle" was produced by GGGarth who is famous for his work with Rage Against The Machine. It would be easy to throw the Nirvana reference point out to my readers but I hear some Jimmy Eat World and Sunny Day Real Estate influences with a dab of Slayer. They will be back opening for the Queens of The Stone Age on their East Coast tour.
After cleaning out the blood in my ears from Biffy Clyro, my hearing was finally returning to equilibrium. My hearing didn't last long as The Editors turned it up to 10 with a scintillating version of "Bones" that showcased Chris Urbanowicz (Guitars) rapid fire tremolo picking on his Rickenbacker guitar. Tom Smith (Vocals/Guitar) was a ball of energy pacing across the stage with various gesticulations when he wasn't playing his black Gibson hollowbody guitar. The crowd cheered loudly when all the band dropped out of "Blood" except Chris weaving an anthemic guitar line. Tom enthusiastically told the crowd they looked lovely as they kept the pace up with a blistering version of "An End Has A Start". The Editors have a sharp live show and I recommend you download their live show from Lollapalooza in 2006 to get an idea of how much bigger their sound is live. I had a direct view to also see Ed Lay (Drums) pound away on his drums and interlock very well with Russell Leetch (Bass) and his Rickenbacker bass. The Editors played a new unreleased track called "Banging Heads" that opened with Tom playing a piano riff that accerlerated quickly with driving drums and Chris's consistent tremolo picking. "All Sparks" was spectacular and is a great riff to play along on guitar. Tom's voice sounded especially sharp during "The Racing Rats" as he easily hit all the notes during song while playing the piano effortlessly. "Munich" was started off with Tom slowly singing the opening line before the band came crashing in to bring the song up to its fast pace tempo. "You Are Fading" featured a mini drum solo from Ed during the breakdown of the song. They closed out the evening with a rousing versions of "Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors" and "Fingers In The Factories". I hope they come back to the States soon.
Editors Setlist at the Wiltern Theatre (9/24/07)
"An End Has A Start"
"The Weight Of The World"
"Escape The Nest"
"When Anger Shows"
"The Racing Rats"
"Open Your Arms"
"You Are Fading"
"Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors"
"Fingers In The Factories"