White Rabbits at Triple Rock Social Club, 10/15/12
By Kati Heng
With The Farewell Circuit
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
Monday, October 15, 2012
Leave it to White Rabbits to liven up a Monday. And if you're already out, why not dance? Walking onstage at to about a minute of horribly shrill droning sounds, the band was met with equally loud cheers from the crowd. After a couple strums and drums to check their sound, the band was off on their opening song, "I Had It Coming." Immediately, any signs of the Mondays the crowd might have come in with were gone. They were dancing, swaying, rocking back and forth and bobbing their heads right along.
"Thank you, how you guys doing?" said lead singer Stephen Patterson. Charming and polite (and chewing gum) throughout the show, he said a "thanks" or a "thank you" after a majority of his songs. Looking and sounding like a punk in his camo hat -- much more live than the Spoon-style vocals you'll find on their latest album, Milk Famous -- Patterson behaved like a boy you'd want to take home to your parents. Even when he took a swig from the beer bottle he'd brought onstage, he made it quick, just getting some liquids rather than trying to get a buzz.
After the guys moved to new instruments, something they do after most songs since losing a member earlier this year, White Rabbits launched into "Danny Come Inside." During the song, Patterson's mic stand faltered, but the guy, who was also on the keyboard during this song, mind you, didn't even falter. He just waited until they finished, said another thanks to the crowd, and then asked for a new one before they began the next song.
Later on, the guys got their crowd revved up with their newest single, "Temporary." You could pick out the diehard fans from the casual ones. This was when the casual fans starting dancing and singing along, overcompensating for not knowing the songs before this.
After "Temporary," the crowd erupted in applause, and for the first time, Patterson didn't even say a "thanks," as if he was too shy to acknowledge all of it. Just getting back from a gig opening for the Shins, the guys must have forgotten what's it's like to have fans coming out just for them. So, they went right into "Kid On My Shoulders" before momentarily slowing the night down with "It's Frightening." The calm didn't last long. Coming next was "Lionesse," a song made be played live with its anthem-like lyrics. People responded to it with more swaying and rocking that lasted right into the next songs "Heavy Metal" and the couple friendly "While We Go Dancing," mainly sung by Alex Evan, the group's guitarist who supplied some backing vocals throughout the night.
As they started playing "Percussion Gun," an older, but probably the group's strongest song, the crowd just shrieked with excitement. And when you see White Rabbits perform live, percussion gun takes on a much more literal meaning. Watching the group's main drummer, of two, is like watching a metronome at work. He hits those drums with overwhelming intensity.
A three-song encore capped the night with "I'm Not Me," followed by "The Plot" and ending again on "Rudie Fails." Though it was 11 p.m. on a Monday night, it felt like the weekend was just starting. Thank you, White Rabbits, for the party.
Personal Bias: It had been a long day for me following an even longer weekend, so I was nearly drifting off as The Farewell Circuit played. I was so thankful White Rabbits stuck to the fast songs.
The Crowd: Twenty-something hipsters and the older couples in the crowd found an accessory they could agree on: a big glass of beer. Spirits flew high.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I was so like, oh my god, this is the best thing ever. Ever."
Random Notebook Dump: Patterson's apparently a Cardinals fan, although not a great believer. After one of their songs, he asked the audience "Anyone know if the Cardinals won? I have a feeling they didn't..."
1. I Had It Coming
2. Danny Come Inside
4. The Salesman (Tramp Life)
6. Kid On My Shoulders
7. it's Frightening
9. Heavy Metal
10. While We Go Dancing
11. Percussion Gun
12. (Encore) I'm Not Me
13. (Encore) The Plot
14. (Encore) Rudie Fails
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