Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Love My Friends... Mad Rad @ Neumos

Mad Rad had me skipping down 2nd Avenue last night with my hands in the air screaming “I want your blood.” Straight up I didn’t give a fuck, I was high off music and an overall great feeling in the air that didn’t leave Neumos until security escorted everyone out of the building around 3 AM. Whatever expectations you held about Mad Rad, they were met last night.

It wasn’t their best show, I don’t know what a bad show would look like for these guys but there was no way it was going to happen last night. Selling out the venue early people were drinking and having a glamorous time. Portland’s White Fang and that Champagne gang opened up and set the mood for a party. Once Darwin got on the tables it might as well of been over.

The crowd roared and then got down to his eclectic set of high BPM mashers that would of had any passer’s by outside thinking it was a rave. He brought the energy up and got the people ready for his team, not that anyone needed preparation - I think Seattle had been waiting for last night for quite some time.

The album being celebrated last night is the new one from the Mad Rad guys. P Smoov, Terry Radjaw, Buffalo Madonna and Darwin have been at work on The Youth Die Young since White Gold started making waves. They’ve had a lot of highs in that time, a few lows, but the biggest change is their profile and that fame they’ve been confronted with is addressed throughout the album.

Having been met with some great and some not so great words The Youth Die Young hit shelves Tuesday and judging from the crowd’s response a few people had already been digging into it. The Nathan Hale High School choir opened their set singing the beautiful “My Friends” - a classic greeting for a group that has the strongest fan base in the city. The party started when the beat drops in the tune entering Smoov’s trademark synth workout he seems to be perfecting and developing everyday.

The floor at Neumos shook through the next two songs “Caveman” and “Party Mountain.” The later has become a show staple and is probably the oldest on the disc yet it still destroys the crowd - us hill kids just can’t get enough of the anthem. The former is bound to become a fan favorite with it’s “Fuck you that’s how we do around here” chanting refrain throughout the end of the tune, just wait til the next show after everyone has devoured the project.

Some standards were performed much to the crowds pleasure. When the familiar beats of tunes like “Electric Sheep”, “Crack The Blunt” and “My Product” hit the air the mass of people screamed and boogied. Throughout the night you could look around and everywhere people wore smiles. I’ve recently been paying attention to the music that makes me physically happy. It’s true there were a lot of factors contributing to my personal happiness but to see a room full of strangers all loving themselves and each other thanks to some awesome music made in our city, that was priceless.

The standout tune on The Youth Die Young is “Epiphany.” Without question one of the best songs of the year. They premiered the tune just shy of a year ago at Neumos for a free show they called Squashed in celebration of the end of the “beef” between them and an assortment of Capitol Hill clubs that had banned them. When the single piano key lands and then the sparse drum intro plays your mind is just caught. By the time they keys start playing and Smoov starts singing you’ll be relishing in the theme of the song, you only live once, enjoy it.

That has really always been Mad Rad’s message. Life is short, enjoy it and don’t tolerate the BS. While the first album gave them bombast to party with this one is showing them growing up a little bit and developing something I’m certain many people thought could go nowhere. “I Want You Blood” and random bars from all of them still capture the rawness that was their initial draw, but it’s not what will be drawing people in after the dust settles on this record. This is the record for them to make new fans, fans who want some dope thought provoking music that will also make you dance. Who’s making that?

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