Future Of The Left @ Neumos, 11/11
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar
It’s sort of difficult when you go to a show and the band you’ve come to see is playing second in a three-band lineup. You have to endure an opener, and then the second band never gets to play quite as long as the headliner. I was in this situation when I went to catch Future Of The Left open for Anrew Jackson Jihad last weekend. I would have wanted any opener just to get on with it and get off the stage, and though Jeff Rosenstock was entertaining, I wanted Future Of The Left. For Future Of The Left fans, and there were many in attendance, the group played approximately an hour – a definite treasurable amount of time for the middle slot.
The Welsh band has dominated my music brain since I became familiar with them over four years ago. Their music is hard, as in tough, as in strong, as in beat the hell out of you with its power. Three perfect full-length albums into their career, and Future Of The Left’s music continues to operate splendidly on multiple levels, and multiple listenings. Their lyrics are open to interpretation – whether they make sense or not to you doesn’t matter – just enjoy the language. Enjoy the emotion poured forth in the music. Be helpless.
The other time I saw Future Of The Left was in 2009 when they opened for Trail of Dead (Can I emphasize how much I want this group to headline here? I cannot.) In 2009 the fans who came out to see them were appreciative and calm. This does not make them any less of fans, just calmer. On Sunday evening the audience – largely male – moshed right in the center, in the front, so my spot beneath singer/guitarist Andrew Falkous was lost this time. What I did gain was a spot beneath new bassist, cool rock goddess Julia Ruzicka. In between being buffeted by the moshpit, I stood my ground and was able to stay up front during the entire show, stopping my photo taking after song three as the venue had asked. I fully expected to recognize immediately every song Future Of The Left performed – I could hear songs just in warm-up notes, e.g. the synth on “Manchasm” – and yet they threw in some surprises by playing songs in new ways, plus adding mclusky songs “To Hell With Good Intentions” and “Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues.” Now that the band is a quartet they can do even more with guitars courtesy of Jimmy Watkins, who proved a bit amusingly mad by climbing the balcony. Drummer Jack Egglestone was tremendous, and Andrew Falkous, well, Andrew Falkous was one of the best beings you will ever witness. So, naturally, see this band if you can.
Since I love all Future Of The Left songs, I can’t grumble about the setlist. Though I remembered the tracks played, I need to say thank you to the individual who put the setlist online – I cannot always remember the order of songs played. All songs were sexy, all songs ruled, and the show ended with a cover of Andy Kaufman’s “I Trusted You.” I could not believe it. I could not have loved it more. I also recommend you grab a copy of the EP, Man vs. Melody, Future Of The Left is selling on this tour. It’s got five lubricative and great songs on it, including one Christmas song, “The Real Meaning of Christmas,” (some lyrics:liberate your children from presents) and “Home Taping Is Killing Susan.”
Small Bones Small Bodies
Beneath The Waves An Ocean
Sheena Is A T-Shirt Salesman
Polymers Are Forever
Failed Olympic Bid
You Need Satan More Than He Needs You
To Hell With Good Intentions
Robocop 4 – Fuck Off Robocop
Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues
I Trusted You