20. Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe" When people defend pop as a genre,…
- Posted on Sep 23rd 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"Go home and berate us anonymously on BrooklynVegan," lead singer Brandon Welchez said late in the set, name-checking a website known for its colorful reader comments, presupposing a few haters had snuck in among fans of the band. "I know some of you motherf---ers are going to. Do it -- please!"
If Welchez was defensive, he was also defiant. With his too-small motorcycle jacket and rockabilly hair -- the same outfit favored by guitarist, co-founder and songwriting partner Charles Rowell -- the frontman hammed it up like a cartoon '50s delinquent. The stage was lit from below, and the five musicians thrashed about in glowing red light, as if standing over the entrance to hell.
The Crocs played just eight songs, many of which came from their recently released sophomore effort, 'Sleep Forever.' During the fuzz tsunami that preceded 'Mirrors,' keyboardist Robin Eisenberg seemed to mimic the organ riff from Del Shannon's 1961 hit 'Runaway,' which the Crocs' DJ, decked out in rocker threads similar to theirs, had played earlier in the evening.
At their core, the Crocs are a duo, but Eisenberg, bassist Marco Gonzalez and drummer Alianna Kalaba are more than hired guns. They've helped adapt the songs for the live setting, and on 'Mirrors' in particular, Kalaba traded the precise, kraut-rock-inspired timekeeping of the recorded version for a more explosive beat.
Welchez and Rowell aren't big on breathers, but 'All My Hate and My Hexes Are for You' was Wednesday's equivalent of a make-out song. By the final tune, it had once again become the time of the season for raging, and the Crocs bit hard into 'I Want to Kill' from their debut, 'Summer of Hate.'
It was tough to say for sure, but it sounded like Welchez ended with the line "Then he kissed me" from the 1963 girl-group song of the same name. Whatever his words, they echoed long after the band had left for the dressing room. When Welchez returned to the stage, it wasn't for an encore, but rather to turn off the drone.
With that taken care of, the DJ put the needle down on Elvis' 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and people filed out, having been thoroughly rocked in a mere 40 minutes. It wasn't even midnight, and for those so inclined, there was still plenty of time for online criticizing.