Show Review: Semi Precious Weapons at R Bar

Visit the live performance and you will understand why Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons is known for more than his diamond zodiac necklaces selling at Barney’s Co-op (Oh yeah, and Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic). The band played a show at New York City’s R Bar on Thursday night but this was not their first time at the venue. In late 2007 the boys enticed the crowd along with silver poles and a disco ball at the release show for their latest album We Love You, and their black personalized DKNY sneakers. Not much has changed. Their show still provided them an all out release from the constraints of their polished collection, whether it was the screaming guitar riffs or Tranter’s jerky movements and gary-glitter style.

If you’ve been living under a Martian rock for the last year, Justin Tranter (Vocals), Aaron Lee Tasjan (Guitar), Cole Whittle (Bass) and Dan Crean (Drums) have been digging out their own national fan base, and selling out venues all across the country. A lot of their success is without a doubt thanks to their manager, BreakThru Radio’s own BP Fallon, “one of rock’n’roll’s most celebrated characters,” according to the Guardian online.

After signing with Razor & Tie Entertainment in March 2008, and releasing We Love You, nothing has slowed them down. Some might attribute their success to the favor-in-fanhood of infamous supermodel Kate Moss, but even without the celebrity endorsement, their album (and live set) speaks for itself. After stops in cities like Austin, Santa Barbara, Columbus, St. Louis, Chicago, Boston and New York, there is no doubt that they are poised to receive even more attention.

Truly there are few better places than the R Bar for such a charging and sexually retro rock group. If there are, then they’re most likely in L.A. But the numerous stripper poles, the backstage black and white style-framed photos of rock stars, and simply the color red were all there supporting  the group on the last leg of their tour before they head back to Hollywood.

Semi Precious Weapons thrashed around in impressive fashion, often falling on each other while Tranter belted out what are now trademarks of the six-footer, like, “I can’t pay my rent but I’m fucking gorgeous!” He touched the crowd while Tasjan leaned back to shred through a classic but wholly necessary guitar solo. They never lost energy even through anthems like “Bleed to Heal” and “Rock n Roll Never Looked So Beautiful.” Between songs Tranter would engage the crowd, but only slightly. Any mumbled words were often quickly drowned out by drunken screams of what could have only been sexual frustration and desire. Regardless of one’s opinion of the new album, Semi Precious Weapons is a live band. Consider this the first time skyscrapers have been overshadowed, not to mention Kissy Kamikaze. 

The Weapons put on a show far better than most in this Internet age of amateurs and indie cowards. Fans of the band, do not deny yourself this opportunity. See them in the cities below!

Tour Dates:

5/08/08 TT The Bears – Cambridge, MA
6/06/08 Rebel NYC – New York, NY
6/12/08 NXNE @ Silver Dollar – Toronto, ON, Canada
6/13/08 NXNE @ Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON, Canada
6/14/08 NXNE @ Bovine Club – Toronto, ON, Canada
6/18/08 Beauty Bar w/ The RIngers!!! – San Diego, CA
6/19/08 Semi Precious Fest @ The Viper Room – Hollywood, CA
6/20/08 Semi Precious Fest @ The Viper Room – Hollywood, CA
6/21/08 Semi Precious Fest @ The Viper Room – Hollywood, CA

-Ike

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