Last night, I went to see the Freelance Whales at the Mercury Lounge.
I only caught two of the opening bands. One of which I never learned the name of, and the other which was probably the worst band I’ve ever seen. Ever. I couldn’t believe they were allowed to play on a stage, but I’m sure that is part of the appeal to some. Their name was Animal Tropical and they looked (and somewhat sounded) like they were trying to be Vampire Weekend. They failed. Horribly. They were dressed like preppy hipster douche-bags do, trying to look ironic or cool or dorky or what-have-you. And their sound was, as I tweeted: “post-ska meets Napoleon Dynamite trying to be Vampire Weekend but too drunk to really succeed. And the lead singer was a total asshole.
Anyway, onto Freelance Whales! They were so wonderful. It’s refreshing to see people who are truly talented playing all the instruments. Literally, 4 out of 5 band members played every instrument on stage, which spanned outside of the normal guitar-bass-drum set combo. There was a mandolin, a banjo, a xylophone, tambourines, shit… even a gardening can! Their music and melodies are just charming. I’d recommend my favorite song, “Generator ^ 2nd Floor” as well as the other Generator one, which is posted on this great review on Stereogum.