By Steven Anthony at 1:07 PM Friday, December 14th 2012
Joining together for Z104.5 The Edge’s annual Ugly Xmas Sweater Concert, Silversun Pickups, Metric, Passion Pit and the Shiny Toy Guns brought a healthy dose of holiday cheer to Tulsa’s Brady Theater last night.
The Shiny Toy Guns kicked things off with a short 30-minute set, running through mostly older material along with Somewhere to Hide from this year’s III LP. About the time the band kicked into their cover of Major Tom, it became apparent that lead vocalist Carah Faye Charnow was under the weather, causing her vocal performance to falter during the chorus. By the second round of the chorus she was essentially begging the crowd to sing along to help her get through the song. The band sounded good and Carah bounced around the stage like she was feeling fine, but her vocal performance really suffered because of her cold.
Passion Pit was up next, sounding like a mixture between a Sega Genesis game soundtrack and some 80s falsetto-driven Prince knockoff. The band got off to a strong start with their inescapable single Take A Walk, but about 5 songs in the music started to all sound the same. The crowd was head-over-heels in love with the band, but their set essentially amounted to about 45 minutes of forgettable radio pop. Not the worst thing ever, but certainly not the best.
Toronto-based indie rockers Metric stepped out on the stage next, opening with this year’s Youth Without Youth. Lead singer Emily Haines controlled the stage from the minute she walked out, strutting around like a female version of Mick Jagger when she wasn’t anchored to her keyboards. The band played a short 8-song set, leaning heavily on material from this year’s great Synthetica LP, but they also pulled out a few older tracks including live staple Help I’m Alive and a beautiful acoustic version of Gimme Sympathy. Many in the crowd were far more familiar with the band than I had anticipated, and it was great to see them get such a strong reception here in the United States. Definitely a band to watch in 2013.
Silversun Pickups closed out the night, playing a good mixture of material from their three studio albums. Regular bassist Nikki Monniger is out on maternity leave after giving birth to twins earlier this week, so the band had The Happy Hollows’ Sarah Negahdari fill in. Guitarist Brian Aubert seemed like a walking contradiction, grinning ear to ear while the heaviest riffs in the Brady that night. His tone was pretty incredible, and backed with Negahdari’s insane bass work, the band sounded phenomenal.
While sickness prevented the Shiny Toy Guns from sounding great and Passion Pit grew old, Metric and the Silversun Pickups provided a pretty solid dose of hope for radio rock. We’ll be keeping our eye on the two bands in 2013 and we suggest you do the same.
Check out a few more selected shots from the show below, followed by a full gallery:
Shiny Toy Guns: