words and photos by Chona Kasinger
Having spent the day at the station shooting Foreign Born and The Veils, and then doubling over to catch both bands early sound check at Chop Suey definitely left me with a consummate sense of curiosity as to how the sound might translate live on stage.
Other Girls took center stage promptly at 10:00 as people steadily streamed into the cavernous dark of Chop Suey. Hailing from Cleveland, this four piece sounded a lot like what the Walkmen might have sounded in their formative years, with a bit of a punk edge. It was good.
LA band Foreign Born followed with their set at 11:00. The exotic percussion section really gave this band an edge; a friend of mine described the band’s sound as “Afro-pop”. “Letter of Inclusion” showcases the band’s deliciously tropical feel, with a hint of shoegaze. I really enjoyed “Vacationing People” with its grandiose percussion and drippy reverb. A brief chat with the second percussionist in the band revealed that Foreign Born would soon be returning to the Seattle area, along with another project of a few of the members of Foreign Born, Fool’s Gold, which also happens to be the ex-drummer of We Are Scientists Michael Tapper’s musical endeavors. As I’m a huge We Are Scientists fan, it goes without saying that I’m looking forward to this one.
Finn Andrews and co. were greeted with uproarious applause from the clearly ecstatic audience. Though admittedly unversed in the track listing of The Veils‘ latest release, I can assure you that their set kicked legitimate ass.
Andrews puts on a chilling performance, to say in the very least. His steady and delicate warble is melancholy embodied. The ungrinning, but clearly gracious front man and his band were met with explosive applause at the end of every song. Bassist Sophia Burn even broke down and flashed a crooked grin after being egged on by an overenthusiastic member in the audience to “Smile!” Drummer Henning Dietz was a spectacle to behold as he wreaked havoc on his kit for the entire 45 minutes of their set- his very theatrical show of percussion really almost stole the show for me.
It appeared that midway through the set, Andrews injured his foot after ending a number by violently stomping at his colorful assortment of floor pedals. Despite the minor setback, a brief sit down was all it took for the thin front man to get back on his feet and give the crowd what it wanted.
For the encore, Andrews announced that he would play “One song… and then maybe another. And then maybe another one after that.” Though the band cut it at two songs, it was clear to see that the audience had had its fill. “Come back again soon!” called a member of the audience from the left side of the stage. Rest assured, The Veils will have a healthy arsenal of fans raring to see them again in the near future.