My roommate, Wen, invited me to go see Cold War Kids play for $3 as part of Celebrate Brooklyn! on Friday night. The only song I’d ever bothered to listen to was “Hospital Beds“, and I didn’t loooooove it like everyone else I know seems to, but I figured a concert in the park would be nice. I listened to the songs on their MySpace that day in an attempt to form some sort of opinion of them, and I felt okay about their songs, but they didn’t move me or anything. I did come away thinking that their vocalist reminded me a bit of Jack White of The White Stripes, though, and that’s exciting.
My friend Beth accompanied me to the park, and we meandered along the tree-lined sidewalks of Park Slope and looked in the windows of brownstones filled with baby strollers and bookshelves that don’t have to move from apartment to apartment as the rent goes up and can therefore actually be filled with books instead of the Avenging Unicorn Playset and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines that mine are.
We got seats toward the center, swigged from our $2 cans of Snapple, and set to judging everyone in sight. Our main target of ridicule was this girl right in of us with these really great maybe-vintage light brown sunglasses that took up her entire face. We mocked her mostly because we felt like she didn’t deserve them. Well, that and her half-hearted greasy female pompadour. And handgun earrings. Then we switched to deciding who I should sleep with while Boyfriend Kamran’s visiting home in Laguna Beach and no doubt ogling tons of blondes in bikinis: the guy with the excellent Bonnie Prince Billy beard or the really classicly-romantic-looking girl two rows ahead of us who might have very well been 15 years old. Wen’s arrival cut the conversation short, and I instead went about taking pictures of myself showcasing emotions ranging from shifty
The first band up was Sam Champion, who were billed as “not local for long”, but we found them pretty much nondescript aside from the fact that their lead singer was hot, but even that was questioned once he took off his face-obscuring sunglasses. I think they thought they were kind of . . . The Doors-ish? . . . but we spent most of their hour caring more about the biracial lesbian couple next to us chasing their blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler up and down the aisle.
The middle band was Elvis Perkins in Dearland, who we took to pretty kindly despite the singer’s all-white outfit and the inclusion of an organ in their instrumentation. I’ll admit that a lot of their music was drowned in our discussion about whether the P on the vocalist’s hat was for Princeton or the Pirates (I voted for the former, since I have a boyfriend who has a Ph.D. from Princeton and all and think I know what the Princeton P looks like), but we also genuinely liked the folksy guitar stuff they had going. If you’re checking out their MySpace, I think “While You Were Sleeping” is a really good representation of what we heard.
In between sets, we amused ourselves with the screen hanging from the back of the stage that showed messages and pictures people in the audience could text in to a special number. There were a lot of “hipsters go home” and “hi lux from axel and cooper :)”, but there were also some marriage proposals and one admittance to giving someone else in the crowd genital herpes.
When Cold War Kids came on, everyone stood up, the aisles filled with people, and the row behind us went crazy singing along (on key, thankfully) to every word of every song. And I found out that I actually liked the band quite a bit. Well, the singer, at least. In fact, I liked him so much that I wished he’d ditch his instrumentalists, get some better songs, and become the new Jeff Buckley. I got so mad that he kept wasting his voice on screaming, but now that I think about it, it provided a nice juxtaposition to his sweet crooning. I felt totally inspired by his singing and his stage presence and his completely soaked shirt. Listen to this, and you can imagine the effort that goes into it.
So yeah, it’s safe to say that I love him.
And the park at night.
And getting sauced at a Mexican restaurant that looked like an Aztec temple afterward with Beth.