Show Review: White Denim at The Independent, 1/20/10

by Pouria Yazdi on January 21, 2010

No white jeans in sight.

What makes a live show good? Obviously the music is a huge component. It’s almost a stupid question to ask. But when you think about it, music isn’t the only component. You can go to a show where the music is revolutionary but the performance, crowd, maybe even the smell just suck. I pose this question because White Denim, is a hard performing band. As much as you may read that they don’t stick to one genre, you won’t understand until you see them live. Their music was good. What made the show awesome was how hard they performed.

Counting the break before the encore White Denim stopped playing a total of two times. In other words, they don’t give you a chance to stop rocking. An audience member in front of me remarked at one point, “Holy shit, they actually stopped.”

The night started out like any other show night starts for me: try to find parking, walk to the venue, have my bag searched, order a Dewar’s and soda, and listen to music. The Independent was not packed on this particular Wednesday night. There were even tables with chairs down on the main floor, that does not usually bode well for crowd energy.

The band starts, people get closer, and then the analyzing begins. Then the notepad scribbling begins. I really didn’t know what to expect. My friend had recommended going to this show and it just so happened Spinning Platters wanted it covered. I went without much anticipation.

This was the type of show that your friend recommends, you go with a little bit of secret inhibition, the show slowly amps it up, and then you lock eyes with your friend while you’re both rocking out to indicate to them they were right. I’m not just talking about my experience here, I saw it throughout the crowd that night.

People went from standing still and bobbing their heads in that reserved-I’SF- cool-and-sober manner to that I-fucking-love-going-to-live-shows-with-my-friends-and-dancing-my-pants-off manner. This is a fun thing to watch evolve.

White Denim can take credit for this. Essentially they take out the rock encyclopedia and then play you everything in it, from AC/DC to Zappa. The lead singer’s voice ranges from poppy on some parts to soul-ridden-at-others. White Denim do not give you a chance to assess the situation, you’re too busy having a good time.

They work incredibly hard and have a great time doing it. It makes you remember that friends get together from time to time, to play music because it’s cool. In a time where rock stars are produced on TV shows, and you get an album by baring your privates in a limo, one can take for granted the joy of watching people play who just fucking want to rock.

If you like going to shows that are fun to watch, have great music, and the performers give it their all then head out to White Denim the next time they’re out.

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