Show Review: Dragonette at 330 Ritch (Popscene), 10/22/09

by Pouria Yazdi on October 23, 2009

Actually seeing the band at Popscene is a nice change

Actually seeing the band at Popscene is a nice change

The setting: A 27 year old dude sitting in a bar where the definition of cool can no longer legally apply to him. He is sitting in an 18+ club. The clientele ranges from creepy E-ridden middle-aged men in sports jackets to fresh, young 18 year-old girls trying to define their sexuality.

Imagine the scent of pickled matter slowly overpowering your senses. Imagine confusion.

As I patiently waited for Dragonette to perform, this is how I felt last night at the 330 Ritch. Dragonette hails from Toronto, Canada and this was their first time playing in San Francisco. They were promoting their new album Fixin’ to Thrill, which has had a delayed release in the States.

Dragonette takes the stage at 11:30PM. The crowd pushes in, as crowds normally do. Martina Sorbara, the lead singer of Dragonette, is a slight person. Her personality emanates firecracker and I was anticipating a great performance.

She steps up to the microphone and starts singing, but the levels are all wrong. I couldn’t hear her. As the night went on the sound got better, but there were plenty of times that I was straining to hear her. This became a problem because the appeal of Dragonette is the bass-ridden, electro-pop sound matched with Sorbara’s pixie-party voice.

Despite the technical problems, the set got better and better as the night went on. Dragonette cranked their energy up with each song and subsequently the crowd became more jubilant. They played a good mix of popular songs from their first album, Galore, and did a good job mixing it up with newer songs. 11 songs in about 50 minutes.

Their music is fun and poppy with no implications of being serious. This makes it a good time to listen and dance to. The finale Fixin’ to Thrill pretty much kicked ass. It showed what this band can do given the appropriate vibe and crowd. It left me wanting more which is what every finale should do.

Given the proper venue, Dragonette seem like they could kill a live show. I’d wholeheartedly recommend seeing them live the next time they’re in San Francisco, if they get the sound issues worked out.


I Get Around
Gone Too Far
Take It Like a Man
Big Sunglasses
Black Limousine
Get Your Titties Off My Things
Pick Up the Phone
OK Dolore
Our Summer of Sex
Fixin’ To Thrill

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

thedude October 25, 2009 at 3:27 am

If anyone cares a few corrections:

4 – Big Sunglasses
5 – Liar
8 – Get your Titties off my Things
9 – Pick up the Phone
10 – OK Dolore
11 – My Summer of Sex
12 – Fixin’ to Thrill


Pouria Yazdi October 29, 2009 at 10:51 am

thedude is totally right. I most likely missed some songs. Thanks for the correction and I’ll have the editor change it.


Gordon Elgart October 29, 2009 at 10:59 am

Noted and fixed. Thanks thedude!

kyle g April 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Great review, however, try to reserve judgment of the 27+ year olds in the audience at such shows. The venue and promoters provide an early look at great bands on the scene. There is no choice for people, who are not 18-24, to otherwise catch these great acts. The 27 year old referenced was “sitting at the bar” which is a lot better than mingling with the 18 year old people. The reviewer comes off very elitist and judgmental. The editors should take note of this fact and keep the “authors” of these articles focused on the review of the music and artists, not the clientele. I’d hate to be a middle-aged music fan and have to rethink whether or not to continue my passion for new and interesting music, without hipster-bloggers judging everyone based on appearance. FYI, I’m 23 and 4 years away from being uncool like Pouria.


Gordon Elgart April 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Hi Kyle, thanks for reading and commenting.

As the damned-close-to-middle-aged editor of this website, I can tell you that age politics absolutely exist in rock clubs in San Francisco (probably elsewhere, too). If Pouria feels uncool at 27 and has to sit at the bar, so be it.

However, his own view of feeling uncool at 27 isn’t shared by me, and I’m past 37. To each his own, and we let our writers share their feelings here, whether it’s strictly about the music, or whether they wander off into defining the setting.


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