Monday, March 23, 2009
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour at Le Poisson Rouge, 03/22/09
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when attending The Asteroids Galaxy Tour show at Le Poisson Rouge. I usually don’t go to shows so blind, not knowing what the band is about or at least more than a handful of songs. But this Danish group doesn’t have a lot of material out there yet. Their debut album, Fruit, is due out in May so all we’ve had to go on so far are an EP or two and of course that iPod Touch commercial.
Honestly, I was expecting to see a lot more similarities between them and The Ting Tings, another guy/girl duo with an Apple commercial in their résumé, who I saw less than a week ago at Terminal 5. Surprisingly, they have very little in common. First of all, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour didn’t present themselves as a duo, rather a full band with a couple of horn players. Whereas The Ting Tings fully fall into the Eighties pop revival with infectious dance songs and colorful hipster clothing, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour seem to draw more from 60’s soul and psychedelia.
Not that I didn’t enjoy The Ting Tings, but I knew what I was in for going into the show and they didn’t disappoint. The venue was also a factor. Terminal 5 is an impressive, large, modern space, but Le Poisson was much more intimate and inviting. I was literally a foot away from the drum set, which made not wearing earplugs a mistake.
My initial reaction to The Asteroids Galaxy Tour taking the stage was “Wow, the lead singer, Mette Lindberg, is REALLY petite.” which quickly gave way to “Wow, that’s one giant voice coming out of her!” During the show, I kept trying to recall who her vocals reminded me of. My brain went immediately to Shirley Bassey and other 60’s female vocalists with room-filling voices. Yet that doesn’t quite describe fully Mette’s distinctive sound.
The band as a whole had much more of a funk groove than I expected. Around the Bend is an obvious pop single that gets people’s attention, but as usual, it wont be able to adequately represent what this group is really about. The Sun Ain’t Shining No More or Bad Fever more likely embody the jazz over pop sound that the band employs. I think it helped immensely to have a horn section, strengthening that 60’s soul influence. It’s my opinion that most bands should have horn sections in their show rather than try to replicate them with synthesizers. The sax and trumpet added so much to The Asteroids Galaxy Tour that I can’t imagine what their live act without them.
The medium sized venue was packed with enthusiastic fans, which is pretty amazing considering their relative newness. It was a pleasure to be able to see them in a smaller space as opposed to the wildly popular Ting Tings, and for only $10. This experience probably wont last once their album debuts. Already, they’re generating buzz from NPR’s All Songs Considered for putting on a great show at SXSW last week.
The Sun Ain’t Shining No More