Review and photos – The Raveonettes at Venue, Vancouver, May 14 2011
Their sound has been called “noise pop”. Their ’50s-and-’60s-rock-influenced music draws frequent comparisons to bands like the Velvet Underground and Jesus and Mary Chain. You can call it what you want. With five studio albums and a decade of music, Danish band the Raveonettes have carved out a unique identity within their genre. And they’re only getting better. Last night at Venue, they proved that they are rock stars to their very core. How do you know you’re listening to rock and roll? You feel it. In your pants.
Opening band Tamaryn played their set totally in the dark. You might have thought the that stage lighting system was experiencing technical difficulties, except for the fact that a video of psychedelic images was being projected on a screen, silhouetting the band. Their 7:30 p.m. set may have been a little too early for the still sparse, still mostly sober audience to fully appreciate the group’s dark, noisy, stoner rock.
Regardless, the response was quite positive, although the band didn’t stick around for it. They had a recorded drum loop finish off the set as the band snuck off stage under cover of darkness: a strange, although not surprising, choice for a band that literally avoids the spotlight.
The Raveonettes infected the audience with their perverted noise from the first drumbeat. Sune Rose Wagner looked ultra-confident with his borderline-androgynous style. Sharin Foo was a total bombshell blond with her long, stockinged legs and platinum bob. Together they commanded the stage like a master-and-mistress tag-team. The light show was nearly seizure-inducing. The volume was temporarily deafness-inducing. The performance combined the theatrics of a stadium show with the intimacy of a dive bar gig. In a word, it was perfect.
The band used a few different configurations over the course of the show, but by far my favourite had Wagner and Foo in front on guitar and bass, singing together in close harmony. Behind the pair were matching his-and-hers drum kits, complete with seriously sexy drummers. With matching side-swept hair cuts, tight black t-shirts and slim-fit dark jeans, boy-toy-one and boy-toy-two pounded out heavy rhythms in perfect synchronicity, standing to play as if the kits were overturned garbage cans.
I’m going to refrain from sharing the elaborate fantasies that the resulting scene conjured in my mind. Let’s just say that the band, the music, the visuals, the audience, the room, all of it was dripping in sex. They have earned every last ounce of their reputation as among the hottest bands of their generation.
More Raveonettes at Venue photos: