In true Noise Pop fashion, the first couple nights are always a bit hectic, and you never know what you're going to get. Unfortunately, due to communication problems, we were forced to enjoy our two favorite openers (Two Sheds and Man/Miracle) from the cold cement outside. Capacity issues aside, we were front and center for Princeton, the up-and-coming LA indie group that most recently has supported the likes of Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend, and now Rogue Wave. Definitely not a bad resume. Dream boat twins, Jesse and Matt Kivel, command the stage with their surfer hair and unapologetic lyrics about the luxury life and everything in between (read: Vampire Weekend-light). And like their former tour-mates, they're a little unpredictable. Whether or not you value that in a band, this could be the cause of their rise or their demise. Busting out one of their better songs from Cocoon of Love, "Calypso Gold," Princeton fell a little flat mid-show, picking it up later when Yo La Tengo's "Sugarcube," appeared on the set-list. A noble effort from a band with a real hint of potential.
Avid John Vanderslice Twitter-followers were already pumped for his notification early on in the night, "I'm singing three songs with Rogue Wave tonight..." Eagerly anticipating his cameo, Zach Rogue (real name Zach Schwartz) and the crew decided to test the waters with nearly all new tracks from their forthcoming album Permalight, due out March 2nd. Highlights and hits with the crowd included, "Stars and Stripes," "I'll Never Leave You," and by far the best, "We Will Make A Song Destroy." Priveleged audience members can claim to be the very first to ever sample the new tunes, or as Rogue puts it, "Thanks for lending your virgin ears." Either way, the completely in-sync fivesome kept the hits a-coming belting out "Lake Michigan," and of course, "Eyes," before enlisting their good friend John Vanderslice to collaborate for "Love's Lost Guarantee," and several others. For their first show in a very long time, Rogue Wave never let a dull moment slide in. Noise Pop collaborations and strong performances to eager, packed crowds, that's what it's really all about.