On The List :: Dead Confederate @ Mercury Lounge [10.9.08]

For five minutes at a time, Dead Confederate are the best band in the world ever. And in their second song of the evening, they prove it. Opening with something unbelievably languid (which, it's worth noting, all good bands can get away with), the band opens the door on "All The Angels," maybe their best and most transcendent moment. It churns with the neo-grunge sound this band is getting (somewhat) famous for and ends up with a chorus that chants, "this is not a white flag for you." If the theme is no surrender, I guess I can get behind that.

This starts earlier - maybe 10-months ago in the Mercury Lounge. Somewhere between four and six A&Rs are in attendance to see "the last show ever" for The Head Set. This is an unfiltered piece of industry charity. No one cares about The Head Set. Surprise, they're not the best band on the bill. In fact, they couldn't even stick with their unknown opener from Athens, Georgia: Dead Confederate. I look left and I look right and I ask the obvious: is no one interested in this band? They might be the best band I've seen in 2007. An A&R from Sony looks at his counter-part from Columbia and says, "....Yeah, I mean, we could never sell that." If the theme of night is unrequited excellence, I guess I can get behind that.

You and I both know they're only going to play six or seven songs tonight. When they play consensus album single, "The Rat" in the four spot, it doesn't seem too early. It's the most digestible song they have and if you put it in the middle of a mixtape of other rock songs from the last 12-months, someone would have to be brain-dead not to stop and say, "what the hell was that?" If the theme of the night is grunge is back, I guess I can get behind that.

The stage seems a little too clean and a little too put together. It takes away from the darker atmospheric quality of the band. They don't use stage lights but light from below. It supposed to make everything look edgy. It works and it doesn't. The crowd is a little too obedient and a little too polite for evil. If the theme of the night is contradictions, I guess I can get behind that.

Dead Confederate, in total, aren't the best rock band in the world tonight. But, in doses, they can be. The theme of the night can be segmented. And I can get behind that.

Listen :: Dead Confederate - "The Rat"

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