04/23/11 Los Angeles. Calif. Echoplex
04/26/11 San Francisco, Calif. The Independent
04/28/11 Portland, Ore. Mississippi Studios
04/29/11 Seattle, Wash Neumo's
04/30/11 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
When doors opened up for this show, I thought it was cool that they had a DJ with his setup. Sadly, most people didn't show up until well after ten, but for those who showed up early, it was Soviet Panda on the DJ. I've previously heard some of his remixes for local bands, but never seen him in person. He looks really young. I didn't know a lot of the songs played, I only picked up the more popular ones, there were five or six songs I knew, but what I could remember were "Summertime" and "Stylo". They were all mixed differently though.
Anyway, the first band on stage were Via Audio, their last tour date with Jamaica was last night in Minneapolis*. I actually thought they were pretty good, despite being one of those Pitchforky bands. Their songs are basically pop songs, but they won't embarrass you when you find yourself singing along to their catchy songs.... well maybe not for the "Babies" song, which contains the line "I wanna make babies with you".
Before Jamaica came on stage, their theme song played over the speakers. It was Jackson Browne's "Jamaica, Say You Will". I thought that was funny in some ways, considering that Browne doesn't have any electropop in his body. They pretty much stuck to their setlist (see picture), but instead of the typical walking off stage and returning for the encore - they just played it straight through. The last number, "When Do You Wanna Stop Working" features the entire Via Audio band on stage. Including improvised guitar battle, which is pretty fun to watch. This wasn't their first stage invasion, they were also on for "Gentleman", which features two audience members joining in on the fun.
I didn't really see too much electro, they were a full band (including drummer, bassist) and sounded more pop rock than the impression I get when I hear "electropop". What I can say is that they are pretty accessible to Americans because their music is mostly in English.
Their album is called No Problem (this is actually pretty funny because when you think of Jamaica, you think "no problem, mon") and it was just released on V2 on April 12th, and available as a download. I tried to get a hard copy of No Problem at the the merch desk, but they didn't have any, so I picked up Via Audio's album on vinyl instead (it comes with an MP3 download).
JAMAICA performing "GENTLEMEN" with guests
* I think that was mostly for logistical reasons because tomorrow's show is in Los Angeles, and I got the impression that Via Audio was traveling by car (which is impossible to drive to California in one day).