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Boys Night Out / Emanuel: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
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I caught a couple of June's songs, not expecting much, and wasn't given much. It still boggles me how much their vocalist sounds like Patrick Stump, and how he isn't even close to being alone in that company. To admit a bias up front, I wasn't particularly fond of Emanuel's "first" full-length, S.
I caught a couple of June's songs, not expecting much, and wasn't given much. It still boggles me how much their vocalist sounds like Patrick Stump, and how he isn't even close to being alone in that company.
Six years into the game, the band have come fully into their own.
Lovat-Fraser claimed to have lost his voice just an hour prior to the band's set, yet sounded absolutely spot-on, and only refrained from singing his lines a scant number of times, letting guitarist/backup vocalist Jeff Davis take over said line when needed. It's easy to think Lovat-Fraser was auto-tuned the relative shit out of on the band's recently released, self-titled album, but I honestly couldn't hear him miss any notes here at the Knitting Factory main space.
The set list itself might've been the ultimate highlight. The band played a wonderful mix of their discography, including four songs each off both their first and third full-lengths, five from the middle (Trainwreck), and the opener off their proper debut EP, 2002's Broken Bones and Bloody Kisses. As simple math and a glance below will tell you, that's 14 songs and a 1:05 playing time: not terrible at all for a band being the last of five live acts.
Last year, BNO did admittedly rectify that problem of playing songs from MYS at normal speed, and here they seemed to be taken down a notch again. However, they weren't nearly as slow as when that issue first took place -- rather, they've now found a comfortable medium that fits their current sound.
Whenever the song called for the blips and bloops on the studio version (i.e. "Hold on Tightly, Let Go Lightly," "Waking"), they were played pre-recorded, but getting out an auxiliary keyboard player (after 'boardist Kara Dupuy left almost exactly a year ago) just for said songs does seem excessive.
Crowd response was rather enthusiastic, too. Reactions were a little restrained for material off Boys Night Out, but nearly everything else was explosive. It felt like a gigantic party in the crowd for just about every song the band delivered.
That delivery, by the way, was as charismatic as I've seen the band. Lovat-Fraser offered mic time to plenty, was up front with the crowd about his voice, bounced around like a rabbit on meth, and towards the end assured the crowd there wouldn't be an encore, with the band finishing precisely that way and giving their thanks to their tourmates and fans during the introducing instrumental of "Composing."
While I would rank Boys Night Out's newest album slightly below the previous two, and their preceding DVD was just odd, I will absolutely vouch for the progress they've made in the live setting.
Set list (10:27-11:32):
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