Bloc Party had originally been scheduled to play First Ave on March 30 of this year, but the show was put on hold due to the lead vocalist, Kele Okereke, who came down with some nasty viral pharyngitis, a.k.a. a severe sore throat. Fans were relieved to hear the beloved Brits decided to reschedule and last night's turnout seemed strong as expected, regardless of the date switch.
Okereke was a bundle of energy; chatting and charming the crowd with witty banter, all the better in his accent. The show turned out to be the last night of their long-running U.S. tour and Okereke said he couldn't have picked a more appropriate place to end -- the set of one of his favorite movies, Purple Rain
. The drummer chimed in with more mentions of Prince and guitarist Gordon Moakes added Husker Du to the list of things they like about Minnesota. The audience beamed.
The band's most recent full-length was released last year, meaning the indie-brit-rock-sometimes-electronically infused-set was pulled from all three of their albums. Unless you're a die-hard fan (which seemed to be a lot of this particular crowd) the songs sounded pretty similar. Lots of guitar, great, steady vocals, all at a quick, happy pace.
Guitarist Russell Lissack didn't say a peep the entire show, but the stickers and flair on his guitar and strap said it all. Lots of cartoon characters, the easiest to make out was a cutesy Minnie Mouse sticker.
Midway into the set, drummer Matt Tong lost the T-shirt and relaxed in his swim-trunk-esque shorts. A fan blew his tousled black locks as he beat the drums to a bloody pulp; all the while he looked comfortably naked.
Okereke was constantly busy stepping on the row of pedals laid out under his mic. He also included lots of hand gestures, clapping and guitar hugging. After asking the audience how they were doing, a girl up front shouted back, "Good, how are you?" Okereke was so taken aback that someone would ask how they were doing, that he dedicated the song "Mercury" to this "Becky" woman...or was it "Vicky?"..."Mickey?" I'm still not sure about the final verdict.