(06/18/09 in Los Angeles, CA) The bill for last Thursday night’s show at The Troubadour was short and to the point: The Subjects and White Rabbits. The doors opened and the crowd started filling in (and making a beeline for the bar) as we all settled in for what turned out to be an hour wait for the opening band.
Normally, opening acts are up-and-comers -- new bands that could potentially be very great but just don’t have enough of a fan-base yet. However, I got the impression that Brooklyn-based band The Subjects already had a bit of a following. There was a small crowd of kids huddled and a few adults here and there who started cheering as the band walked onstage. As soon as The Subjects started playing, I could see why White Rabbits brought them on tour. Aside from hailing from the same city, the bouncy five-piece churned out upbeat, fun music that sounded like it was one part Fleet Foxes, one part Spoon, and one part Harlem Shakes. There was an inherent comfort and appeal in their music. It was familiar-sounding enough to know you would like it, but new and intriguing enough to make you want to listen to it before writing it off as another version of an older band.
Thirty minutes later, before a completely packed (and possibly inebriated) audience, White Rabbits took the stage and, without greeting the audience, dove straight into the music. The band performed a handful of songs from their newest release, It’s Frightening, including “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong,” “Lionesse,” “Company I Keep,” and the ever-popular single, “Percussion Gun.” In addition to those, they also played “Kid on my Shoulders,” “The Plot” and “While We Go Dancing,” which proved to be crowd favorites from their 2007 record Fort Nightly.
What really made the show special was the band’s use of drums. Since many of their songs are set against a backdrop of heavy percussion, it only made sense that they would have a set of floor drums to play in addition to the drum kit. The whole thing gave the show a wild, tribal feel. That, coupled with the intense passion and energy coming from the band onstage, just made the entire show feel like one big party.
White Rabbits wrapped up and -- on par with the tradition of concerts -- came out for an encore, during which they played the softer “The Salesman (Tramp Life)” and left the stage for good.
Even though I had little-to-no room to move around and some kid who offered to give me the White Rabbits show poster decided he didn’t want me to have it after all, the feeling I got from watching two great bands leave their hearts on the stage and having the crowd party along made everything completely worth it...If you ever get the chance to see White Rabbits live, be it in a huge venue or a small bar, do it. I promise you won’t regret it.
For Fans Of: Modest Mouse, Ratatat
Standout Tracks: "Company I Keep", "Percussion Gun"