hmv.com reviews... Death From Above 1979 @ London's Electric Ballroom
Reunited and back with a new record, Canadian dance punk pair Death From Above 1979 set fire to London's Electric Ballroom last night (October 20th) and we were there to review it all...
Death From Above 1979, DFA 1979, Toronto dance punk duo, making their long awaited comeback after many years apart.
At a very packed Electric Ballroom, this was definitely a sold out gig! Getting in was like gold dust with touts outside desperate to buy, but no one was giving up the hottest ticket in London tonight.
Any good supports?
Openers Greys drew in a decent sized crowd with a fair few fans in early to see them. They brought their Canadian rock sound for the first time to London and got themselves a very warm reception.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
Throughout the whole set the pit stretched across the whole of the front half of crowd. We've been to a lot of gigs in our time, but rarely have we seen an audience as energetic and lively in a venue like this for each and every song. The band were ear-drum rupteringly loud, but somehow you could hear the crowd singing over the top of the din...
So what was the set like? What did they play?
If you're familiar with DFA 1979, you know that you're going to get it full throttle from the outset, and the opening chimes of 'Turn It Out' sent the crowd into a frenzy. The audience have been waiting almost 10 years for this and the band really stepped up to the occasion as if they never had gone away.
This went straight into a fantastic version of 'Right On Frankenstein' which managed to get even more people involved. Love for songs both young and old was shown throughout the show, with 'Virgins' in particular causing a mass jumping session.
The bulk of the set was comprised of the entire comeback album of the year The Physical World (which you can preview on the right of the page), with plenty of old throwbacks from their seminal debut effort thrown into the mix.
What's truly impressive is how drummer Sebastien Grainger can be as relentless as he is and still be able to sing at the same time. It's most clearly shown on 'Government Trash', which kicks open the floodgates for a sea of crowd surfers.
After 'Always On', they left the stage to chants of "DFA" which ring around the venue. They then triumphantly returned with a one-two punch of 'Cold War' and crowd favourite 'Romantic Rights' which caused pandemonium on the floor.
Things are only "slowed down" towards the end with recent album closer 'The Physical World', but that still doesn't stop a sweaty crowd from still exploding during the breakdowns.
The result of all this was a gig that was truly unforgettable. It feels as though every person here has waited a decade to see this group and from the looks on their faces it's clear to see why. For our sake we had best hope they come back again...but please boys, don't leave it so long next time!
Any good between song banter?
Chat in between songs is kept to a minimum but they stop to thank the crowd several times, even including an "En-Ger-Land" chant before bursting into the next song.
Did they put on much of a show?
The Ballroom has a pretty minimalist stage, but there was no need for anything fancy as the musicianship it's what is on show. You can see the effort being put in as the sweat flies off of bassist Jesse Keeler's head as he thrashes along.
What was the highlight of the set?
That would be the moment when the crowd sensed 'Little Girl' was working its way from the speakers and into the pit. By the time it hit, there wasn't a single person standing still in the sea of bodies amongst the audience.
With it's funky basslines and heavy drum beat there were both dance offs and mosh pits happening simultaneously. You could hear hearts pounding from the energy that is given by the two on stage. The screeches from Grangier towards the end were particularly impressive! It's hard to believe that so much noise can be made by just two people!
Where can I catch them next?
This week they play Manchester, Glasgow, Sheffield and Bristol at the Simple Things festival. It may be one of the rare opportunities to see this band in the UK so it's recommended that you do!