Show Review: British Sea Power @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

You never know what to expect from a band whose album you have listened to ad infinitum, but have never seen live. The stage show can seem daunting, and the fear of disappointment can be great. As I entered the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see British Sea Power, these were my exact thoughts. The show was sold out and crowded; I was anxious for the band to start.

I was first turned on to British Sea Power in 2003, after their debut release, The Decline of British Sea Power. They put out their sophomore album in April of 2005 and I have to admit, I barely listened. The songs I did check out  were excellent, but I did not dedicate much time to their second effort. Finally, this past January, I received, Do You Like Rock Music? here at BTR. It was fantastic! I constantly listened to tracks such as “No Lucifer”, “Waving Flags” and “A Trip Out”.

The show was supposed to start at 10PM, so I showed up at 10PM on the dot. I had no interest in any of the opening acts, and I wanted fresh ears for British Sea Power’s set. BSP did not take the stage until 11PM, and the crowd begin to get rowdy, which is to be expected.

Finally, the band took the stage, all 6 of them. I had heard about a concert the group had played in January of 2008, in which one of the members, Phil Sumner, who plays clarinet and keyboards, was hospitalized after stage diving into the crowd, at Leeds Irish Center in England. He had jumped off of a PA and landed head first onto the floor below the stage. He had a concussion, a broken tooth and got stitches in his face, but ended up playing with the band the very next night. This type of act seemed like only something a real rock and roller would do, and it made me very excited to watch the actual ‘stage’ show.

Unfortunately, this did not happen, and the band kept things very tame. As for their performance, which was strong, I felt bad for them. It seemed as if their sound was way too big for the venue. Was it the sound engineer? I am not sure. All I know is that other than their large sound being left to a small venue engineer, I was impressed.

I would have loved to see them in an open air space. I do not mean, stadium, but more of an amphitheater or a colliseum. Normally, this would not be something I would admit to, but in this case I think it would be perfect.

Catch British Sea Power on tour!

May 16 2008  Lee’s Palace – Toronto, Ontario
May 17 2008  The Tralf – Buffalo, New York
May 18 2008  Mr Smalls Theatre – Pittsburgh  Pittsburgh
May 19 2008  Maxwells – Hoboken  Hoboken, New York
May 29 2008  Primavera Festival – Barcelona, Spain
Jun 20 2008  Southside Festival – Stuttgart, Germany
Jun 21 2008  Natural History Museum – London, United Kingdom
Jun 22 2008  Hurricane Festival – Hamburg, Germany


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