The listing of The Subways at Spaceland caught me of guard. It turns out that they were playing a one off gig prior to their departure back to the United Kingdom. I had heard that they were in the midst of recording a new album with Butch Vig. It would be their sophomore album and Butch Vig is known for making classic sophomore albums such as Smashing Pumpkins "Siamese Dream" and Nirvana "Nevermind". Are the stars aligned for the Subways?
Blackmarket hailing from Lake Havasu, Arizona opened with a brand of indie rock that reminded me of No Motiv with some auditory influences of Nirvana, Weezer, and the Strokes. They played a quick set and seemed to be hitting their full stride when they had to end their set.
Mobius Band took me by surprise. When they set up a Korg Radias and a AKAI MPC 1000 on the stage, I was expecting and received some good synth action. Mobius Band reminded me of The Softlightes with their bubbly synthesizer work and well crafted songs. Noam Schatz (Bass/Vocals) had a Rickenbacker bass that propelled the songs along nicely. Peter Sax (Drums) was using a Pole Pad to trigger his electronic drums and mixed it well with his acoustic kit. Ben Sterling(Guitars/Vocals/Synths) was rocking out with his Gibson Hollowbody guitar when he was not working the keyboards. They played a good portion of material off their new album "Heaven" that was recently released on Misra Records. Some of the tracks I would recommend you check out are "Friends Like These", "Hallie" and "A Hint of Blood".
The Subways played a fiery set at San Diego Street Scene set in 2006 and I remembered enjoying a lot of the new songs that they played. Billy Lunn (Vocals/Guitars) recently had surgery for removal of vocal nodes and I was wondering how much his voice would be affected. Billy's voice sounded stronger then ever as he belted out a raucous hour long set. I was really impressed with Josh Morgan (Drums) rocking an Anthrax shirt from the "Among The Living" Tour as he smashed and bashed his drums. They opened with "Kalifornia" which will probably be on their new album. It has a soaring chorus and got the crowd going early. Billy was playing a Tom Delonge Gibson Signature model that is based on Gibson's ES-335 series. I suspect Billy got these from Tom when the Subways opened for Angels & Airwaves last year. I snapped a picture of his Boss influenced pedal board and Billy used his Blues Driver quite judiciously. Charlotte Cooper (Bass) was stomping across the stage with her Lakland bass. Billy continued to test his voice as he screamed and sung his way during "Turn Around" that had Charlotte on background vocals. "Girls & Boys" was another new song that started off with a swirly guitar intro that collapsed into a hard driving riff and heavy drums with Charlotte's breathy background vocals. The Subways rocketed through their set and thanked the crowd many times for being "The best crowd ever". I think they will avoid a sophomore slump with the help of Butch Vig. Billy mentioned that their new album should be out in early 2008.
The Subways Pedalboard
The Subways setlist for Spaceland (10/17/07)
"Young For Eternity"
"Girls & Boys"
"I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say"
"I Won't Let You Down"
"Rock & Roll Queen"