by Andrew Crisp
It's not easy to get yourself all riled up for a Tuesday night concert. Tuesday is typically a "I'll-have-one-beer-and-then-go-home" kind of concert environment. Unless you're 3oh!3, the Boulder, Colo., duo that has dropped hit after party-starting hit. Then the sheer mention of your name sends leagues of teenage arms into the air, proudly placing fingertips together in the "O" symbol the guys are known for.
Armed with a Mac laptop, keyboard and microphone, Kristine Flaherty a.k.a.
K. Flay K.Flay didn't waste time with introductions. Rather, dark-haired and be-flanneled, she introduced herself via a sample of "I am K. Flay K.Flay", laying fast-paced rhymes like a one-woman rap battle. Sampling Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," Flay broke down tongue twisting, fresh rap on mental perceptions, echoing her twin degrees in psychology and sociology from Standford. She questions, "Did you ever think that maybe / we're supposed to be a little bit crazy?" The highlight: Flay freestyling over a track that ebbs upward in beats per minute—she rivaled Twista in speed.
Next up was Down with Webster; seven Canadian musicians forged into one electronica/rock/rap band. Their set was all about turning the audience into one big party—the theme in many of their songs. "Whoa is Me" throws the typical "excess is best" mentality of rap culture on its ear, questioning the fake people that pop up in stardom. Relatively unknown to the Boise crowd, they were well received.
Hellogoodbye released their last album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! in 2006—leaving countless fans yearning for more of their love-pop, slightly nerdy style. "Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn", "Here (In Your Arms)," "All of Your Love" ... these gooshy ballads in frontman Forrest Kline's slightly Autotuned croon complemented the new material dropped from the week-old Would it Kill You? Their new stuff diverges from the electronica to become more guitar-based pop—with some lute action. "Finding Something to Do" hit big between the overheard "adorable" stage presence the foursome command.
With fog crawling across the stage, the crew unveiled the final event. Flanking either side of the stage were animatronic wolves with glowing green laser eyes—welcoming Nat and Sean to the stage. Fighting each other for stage presence, the two brought songs from their new album, including "My First Kiss" (which the crowd helped them "kiss" their way through), "Deja Vu," and "Touchin' On My" with that last one inducing Beatles-era screams as Nat and Sean shook their asses at the crowd.
In between the songs, the boys showed they're more than just party animals. They knew the correct pronunciation of Boise, gave lots of love to the front row, who they remembered from the three other shows they have played her—Sean apparently drop-kicked a pizza last time he was in town. I got the feeling that they actually know this area, and enjoy being there; that's saying something, given that they've played shows all over the country. The audience gave them love back: one guy even got onto stage and dropped off two demos on Nat's keyboard. "Now that's marketing," opined Sean.
Before finishing, the guys played their old staples, including "Starstrukk" and "Don't Trust Me".
"We love you Boise; you've been fucking great tonight," Sean yelled.