Noise Pop (Autolux, Snowden, Malajube) @ The Independent (3/2/07)

Arriving late to the sold out Noise Pop 2007 Friday night (3/2) show at the Independent, I knew I'd be missing at least one of the 4 performers that night and as it turns out, I only missed 'Death of a Party', the first of the 4 bands on the bill.

So after getting a beer and finding a decent spot to stand in what is basically a big open room the size of about a quarter of a basketball court, the next band took the stage... Malajube.

What instantly hit me was the quality of the band... This wasn't your average crappy opener, but a decent sounding band with some great energy. The next thing I realized, is that they weren't speaking english either! Turns out, these guys are straight out of Montreal, Canada. When they did try to talk to the crowd, only a few people in the audience were able to decipher their broken english and responded accordingly, but the majority of us weren't familiar with frenglish and nodded pretending to understand.

Next up was Snowden, the atlanta based band was a more straight-ahead rock band with a killer female bassist. They started off strong, but quickly went downhill. The bassist was the key to this band's driving rythems, and the lead vocalist/guitarist wasn't bad either... but the passion that they threw into their music was quickly dropped by a mediocre drummer and what could be the most boring guitarist I've ever seen play. This guy just didn't fit with the other band members. He might be able to play guitar, but he's definitely not the caliber of performer as the other members. Overall, a so-so job done by Snowden for the night.

Finally, Autolux took the stage. By this point, it was getting late in the night; much later than my normal bedtime and especially after a long week at work, I won't lie to you... I was tired. But I hung in there to catch the band I was most interested to see. I've seen this trio perform a handful of times before having learned about them from either a CMJ magazine or one of the many summer festivals. They also opened for, you guessed it, Nine Inch Nails, on one of their US tour legs nearly two years ago.

So like Snowden's female bassist, Autolux is graced with a rockin' female drummer who also sings lead on a few songs. Their bassist is the normal lead vocalist for the band. And speaking of bass, the sound engineer in charge of the Front of House (FoH) sound system had the bass cranked throughout the set. If you've ever been to the Independent, you know the size of the room... You don't need to overpower the bass, but this guy had it cranked to 11! My entire body shuddered during strong bass lines throughout the show. It was unbelievable -- and not in a good way -- how loud the bass was. In addition to the bass levels, the guitarist had some major hardware failure towards the end of the show (now nearly 1am). From what I could tell, his guitar amp shit-the-bed. So for nearly 10 minutes, there was a team of tech's trying to fix the amp before they all gave up and decided to wheel in one of the prior band's amps so Autolux could play another 2 songs to end the show.

Overall, it wasn't one of their best performances, but it wasn't horrible either. If the quality of the opening acts was any lower, I would have walked away disappointed, but overall, I caught 3 decent bands for my first NoisePop experience!

The video below may not have the best visuals, but the audio is decent. Take a listen and definitely check out Autolux when you have some time.

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