Growing Old Is Getting Old
Well Thought Out Twinkles
There's No Secrets This Year
The Royal We
Little Lover's So Polite
It's Nice to Know You Work Alone
Future Foe Scenarios
Catch and Release
What they played was one hell of a setlist. Granted, they only have two albums and an EP out there, but their selections were excellent. "Three Seed," one of my favorites from Carnavas, was an especially lovely addition.
...but they didn't play "Rusted Wheel," which is even more of a favorite from Carnavas. Even so, this is the only major complaint I can make about the set. The two songs from Swoon they didn't play ("Draining" and "Surrounded") are inessential, and the Carnavas tracks were well chosen. It might have been nice to hear "Comeback Kid" from the EP, but they did do "Kissing Families," so I'm callin' it good.
The highlight was undoubtedly the one-two punch of "Panic Switch" and "Lazy Eye" at the end of the set. Though they were plenty animated before this, it felt like they saved the bulk of their energy for those two songs. They were incredible. And why not? Those are probably their two most famous tracks, so it's fitting they should be performed with gusto.
The low point, even though I love love love the song, was "Catch and Release." It's one of the best songs off Swoon, but in a concert setting it just kind of trips up the momentum a bit. Again, as far as the slow songs go, "Three Seed" fared much better.
Brian Aubert has one of the most amazing voices in rock music (he goes from fragile and timid-sounding to ferocious screaming with nary an ounce of hesitation), and he has an extremely endearing stage presence. He just seems like he's a very, very friendly guy, and his comments and anecdotes were hilarious (the bit about playing "The Royal We" at Monolith in 2008 and not having memorized the lyrics yet, leading to him singing something like "la la da da la la THE ROYAL WE!", was especially entertaining).
The whole band looks like they're having a whole ton of fun at what they're doing, and that makes them compulsively watchable (in addition to the fact that, ya know, they're playing tremendous music). It also brought to my attention just how good of a guitarist Aubert is. He rattles off some pretty ridiculous riffs while he's singing and makes it look effortless.
The crowd was very interesting. They were perhaps the least physically animated crowd I have ever been in (I mean, we were standing still), but they were unbelievably receptive towards the band. We're talking like super enthusiastic screaming and applause almost constantly. Brian screams? Crowd goes wild. Nikki sings? Crowd goes wild. Chris does his (freakin' awesome) drum solo at the beginning of "Common Reactor"? Crowd. Etc. But it was awesome, too, and the band was obviously very flattered by it. "We've played in Denver before," Brian said to us. "But never like this."
The Fillmore needs to get some goddamn ventilation. It was fucking TOASTING in there. "Is it hot in here?" Aubert asked us part-way through the set, smiling. Oh god yes.
The opening bands were The Henry Clay People and Against Me! Both were unusual in that their stage presence was much, much more interesting than their actual music. The Henry Clay People may or may not be the drunkest band I've ever seen, but they certainly acted the drunkest (especially the rambling singer and the guitarist who kept trying to get close with his bandmates, and ended up kicking over the keyboard). Against Me! were energetic, and I probably would have liked them more had I been familiar with their stuff. A couple songs sounded good, though. I'll do some digging.
So yeah. Overall: really awesome night.