Bloc Party @ Marquee Theatre|12/9/12
Bloc Party brought a night full of surprises to Tempe -- chiefly one that all attendees would be able to get a good night of sleep. Singer Kele Okereke had a bit of a cold, and the show ended at the very un-rock 'n' roll hour of 10:35 p.m., but the early set didn't seem to do too much to diminish Bloc Party's impact on the crowd.
Last time I saw Bloc Party perform live, I was a sophomore in high school. And yeah, I get it, I'm a 'youngen. I first saw them in 2007 in Houston after their second album A Weekend in the City was released. The band has matured in that time, following a much needed break.
Drummer Matt Tong put it best in our our little chat, saying "we grew up."
The band took to the stage around 9:05. The first thing I noticed was that Tong walked out in jorts -- looking pretty tight and short. No shirt necessary.
Okereke's magically sensual voice swept over the crowd. Hands shot into the air. Everyone was glad to have Bloc Party back.
A Sunday night may not be the optimal show night, but Bloc Party's stature helped them pack the venue. Although the set was shortened, it was a good display of old and new material. Switching things up between their noted first album, Silent Alarm all the way through the newest album,Four, the band showed a progression as songwriters, but didn't sacrifice the straight forward rock sound they are known for.
"Like Eating Glass," from Silent Alarm, elicited a cheer, a few smoke puffs into the air, and demonstrated that the crowd was ready to sing along.
"Banquet" and "Blue Light" continued to amp the crowd up. The latter hasn't been showing up in sets, but, hell I love that song and Bloc Party seemed eager to give Tempe a lively show.
At 10:00 p.m. Kele announced that he had a cold and had been having a problem with the set list. Apparently his voice just couldn't take it all. Promising he'd soldier on for as long as he could, he added that this has never happened before and that they would have to be changing up the set for the night.
Maybe it is a cultural thing and I couldn't hear so well, but I couldn't quite hear a sick sound in the dynamic singer's voice. Oddly enough, he proceeded to yell and stress that voice of his.
There were some disappointed faces as the band went into lesser known material, but though the sing-a-longs subsided, the dancing kept going. At 10:15 Bloc Party walked off stage -- presumably to take a breather. The crowd had ants in their pants and was adamant about needing more music. And now!
So the four men returned to stage.
From some reason when Bloc Party returned to stage they went back on track with their original planned set list with, "So Here We Are." The band proceeded to play "We Found Love" by Rhianna then faded into "Flux."
Right after the upper from the band, we got news that only two more songs would be played. The Brit's went out with a bang, closing with "This Modern Love" and the "Helicopter." I couldn't have asked for a better way to close out the show. However, I looked down at my phone and realized that it was 10:35. Damn, Bloc Party sang me my lullabies and now it was off to bed.
Personal Bias: Although I was extremely tired with final exams around the corner, I couldn't turn down the excitement and craze that Bloc Party always brings me. It was sensational seeing them again! Who knows where the future goes, but I hope Bloc Party doesn't entirely disappear again.
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Overheard in the Crowd: Someone seriously asked, "Why is the lead singer black? He's from England." I immediately saw that scene from Mean Girls. ["If you're from Africa, why are you white?""...Karen you can't just ask people why they're white."] I really hope that chick's name was Karen.
Random Notebook Dump: British accents are yummy.