The Raveonettes at Triple Rock, 9/26/12

The Raveonettes at Triple Rock, 9/26/12
Photo by Erik Hess

The Raveonettes
with Melody's Echo Chamber
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If you were to describe the Raveonettes to someone who had never heard them, it would undoubtedly sound like a horrific, laughable disaster. We're talking almost quaint two-part harmonies, coupled with fuzzed-out, ultra-noisy garage rock and lyrical content that at times seems to beg for face time with a therapist. It would seem like an impossible task to accomplish in any sort of coherent, listenable manner. But then, no other two people on the planet are the Raveonettes. Wednesday night at the Triple Rock, they made that fact abundantly clear.

See Also:
The Raveonettes at the Fine Line, 04/07/11

The started with "Sinking With the Sun" from their new Observator release, an appropriate beginning, as the rest of the night continued as a race toward the sunrise in a seatbelt-free Shelby Cobra with blown speakers and the radio turned all the way up. With feedback already thick enough to surround a nuclear reactor, the new "She Owns the Streets" and "Dead Sound" from 2008's Lust Lust Lust both further pushed and perfectly illustrated their overall aesthetic, with Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo trading vocals and offering simple, graceful harmonies, all the while practically peeling the paint off the walls with the unrelenting distortion.

The Raveonettes at Triple Rock, 9/26/12
Photo by Erik Hess

As the set continued with songs like "Gone Forever" and "Blush" a dichotomy of sorts started to emerge: how is it that the Raveonettes can sound, at once, dangerous enough to crush a bus full of school children without remorse and also as familiar and comfortable as a hug from your grandmother? It's a strange sort of sonic alchemy Wagner and Foo have brewed up, the kind in which it seems you'd thank them if one of them suddenly brandished a knife and cut you with it.

With the assault closing in on an hour, the Raveonettes entered it's denouement phase with 'The Enemy" and "Attack of the Ghost Rider" from 2002's Whip It On, finally wrapping up the set proper with "Beat City." After a few minutes and the crowd cheering almost as noisily as the band had been for the previous hour, the Raveonettes returned to the stage to finish the job they had started.

The Raveonettes at Triple Rock, 9/26/12
Photo by Erik Hess
The Raveonettes at Triple Rock, 9/26/12
Photo by Erik Hess

The short, sweet, perfect two-song encore began with a spot-on rendition of their new single "Observations" and an ear-splitting, absolutely fantastic version of "Aly, Walk With Me", the fuzzy, blissful distortion making it seem like the very walls of the Triple Rock were likely beginning to bow outward. And as they walked off stage that metaphoric Shelby Cobra slammed on its brakes, leaving a trail of rubber behind it as it hurtled on the shoulder. The ignition was turned off; everyone was a little shaky. The sun was rising in the distance and that ride had likely changed everyone just a little bit, even if they didn't quite how or why.

Critic's Bias: This was my first Raveonettes show. I had missed past shows over the past few years for various reasons, some which could not be helped, some which could have been adjusted to fit the shows into my schedule. I kick myself for not fitting at least one of them, as I was blown away by their performance.

The Crowd: a roughly 50/50 mix of guys and girls in their mid-20s to mid-30s

Random Tidbit: It was free bacon night at the Triple Rock, which somehow makes everything just a little bit better.

Notebook Dump: Even the few acoustic songs are incredibly noisy. How?

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