Live Review: Art Brut and Miike Snow, Noise for the Needy at Neumo’s 6/13

review by RJ Cubarrubia
photos by Chona Kasinger

With only one all ages show throughout the week, Noise for the Needy made sure to make it a good one. Combining the electropop producer-trio Miike Snow with the English garage punk of Art Brut, Saturday’s Noise for the Needy show at Neumo’s was a raucous good time. The packed crowd was diverse, from sweaty huge baldheaded beasts of men raging to Art Brut to parents and their kids having good clean fun, leading to hilarious situations like two girls in dresses getting whomped by suspiciously old moshers slamming their weekday cubcicle woes away on teenagers (it’s SATURDAY, everybody parties).

Before the show, I knew these things about Miike Snow: there’s three guys in the band, two from Sweden, one from Brooklyn, and the Swedish dudes produced Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and have worked with Kylie Minogue and Madonna. AWESOME. Unfortunately, although I thought this was going to be a totally awesome pop music dance party, the six person live band and mostly unresponsive crowd turned this set into a confusing experience. There’s a lot to be said about producers who venture out of the studio and into “artist” territory, but the live sound of Miike Snow didn’t have the clean and fresh pop feel of the record, and less people danced. Maybe by taking a more “live band” approach, they want less bump and grind, but listen to tracks like “Animal” and tell me you can’t rumpshake all summer day and night to that jam.

Strangely enough, the same comatose audience awoke with the force of freshly hatched 17-year cicadas when Art Brut hit the stage. The consistently fun and always loud English band rocked everyone’s socks off, turning the floor into a rowdy pit of mindless shoving. Tearing through old and new with Eddie Argos’ signature “Ready, Art Brut?” rally calls, Art Brut raged through songs like “The Passenger,” “Modern Art,” and “Emily Kaine.” After Eddie’s antics carried him into the middle of the circle of ridiculous behavior, the crowd exploded into a frenzy and never looked back. After leaving the stage, the band returned for an encore, teasing the audience with the intro riffs of “Back in Black” before shredding a few more songs and even taking an audience request for “St. Pauli.” Art Brut was just a brutal good time.

Saturday’s Noise for the Needy was a great time for a great cause. You can never go wrong with that. Miike Snow wraps up their summer tour at Lollapalooza, August 8 in Chicago; visit their Myspace page for more information. Art Brut ends their US tour on July 19 in Los Angeles and will return to Europe for a Summer and Fall tour. For more information, visit their Myspace page.

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