The Raveonettes: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 28/11/12

It’s always a nice bonus when the support act is almost as anticipated as the main act. Whilst I was already considering buying tickets for a DIIV concert, when I saw them as the support act for tonight I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how they are live. The night was opened by Holy Esque who gave a good performance. As soon as DIIV took to the stage to soundcheck, their look resembled that of a high school band: small guys wearing beanies and oversized T-shirts with long hair covering their eyes. Once they hit that first chord however, there was nothing childish about their performance: they raged with an enormous amount of energy while still playing every melody perfectly . They were so submerged in their music that they didn’t interact much with the audience, but because their performance was so great, it didn’t matter at all. I hope that through their wild hair they were at least able to see how much the audience was enjoying the show.

After this energetic performance, the Raveonettes seemed somewhat subdued: they were certainly good, but missed that raw power I enjoyed so much when I saw the band three years ago. At first I thought it could have something to do with their latest album, ‘Observator’: while the songs are dreamy and nice to listen to on CD, they do not translate that well live. However, their older songs where just as underwhelming. They may have played their songs perfectly, but were lacking in passion, especially after witnessing DIIV tear up the place 30 minutes ago.

Not to be too negative, the Raveonettes did give a solid performance, but from what I’d witnessed at their previous show, I had expected more. I wondered if I would’ve enjoyed the performance more had it been my first time seeing the band. When I looked around however, I observed other people weren’t exactly overwhelmed either. People were slowly moving back and forth and bobbing their head, but either absently gazing straight ahead or looking down, not looking at the band at all. I still love the Raveonettes, but let’s hope they just had a night off and come back with a bang next time.

Judith Borghouts