Sunday, September 29, 2013

Augustines and Frightened Rabbit, at Sacramento's Ace of Spades, 28th September

Moral of the evening: always get to the venue on time to see the support acts, because there may
be a gem, and you might enjoy them better than the headliners.

ALISON TOON: Augustines &emdash; Augustines-AoS-28Sep2013-0714
Billy McCarthy of Augustines

Take last night for example: Augustines, opening for Frightened Rabbit. I'd neither seen, nor
heard, either of them before, but I knew that Frightened Rabbit were from Scotland and had sold
out a show at the Fillmore in San Francisco a couple of years back. Thought they'd be worth

But it was Augustines who kept me entranced during their entire set. I'm a sucker for an
animated, emotional frontman (or woman), and Billy McCarthy is all that. His voice is edgy; I
loved the song about Philadelphia, city of brotherly love: just McCarthy singing, and Eric Sanderson on piano.

ALISON TOON: Augustines &emdash; Augustines-AoS-28Sep2013-0798
For a three-piece band, they have a presence and a sound that I want to hear more of. (McCarthy grew up here, in Placer county, so it was a trip back home... his rapport with the audience snapped in place when he asked, "Who else here has spent a night in the county jail?", and more-than-one of the crowd also raised their hands. Quite a few more than one. Seems a bit of a coming-of-age ritual here.)

ALISON TOON: Augustines &emdash; Augustines-AoS-28Sep2013-3305

"Cruel City," the first single from the upcoming album, AUGUSTINES, is available now. Buy it: and stream it: You can find Augustines on the web at or on Facebook too.

Then it was time for Frightened Rabbit. My first impression? That the band was well named: either afraid, or shy, of showing their faces (backlit by strobes and a decent light show, but no illumination on the most expressive part of a musician, their faces), and boy, how the heck many of them are there
on stage??? Far more than the five band members listed on Facebook... That was my first and lasting impression.

ALISON TOON: Frightened Rabbit &emdash; FrightenedRabbit-AoS-28Sep2013-3340
There was a lot of faffing about on stage between the sets which seemed to go on for a very long time. The wiring looked complex, and there was a lot of twiddling with cables and settings before the band came on stage. An impressive rack of guitars, waiting for the show, hidden behind the speaker stack stage right. And a huge array of lighting, which was, once the music started, as loud as the band, and more complex.

ALISON TOON: Frightened Rabbit &emdash; FrightenedRabbit-AoS-28Sep2013-3404

Earlier in the evening, I'd stared quite impolitely at a young man whose face was painted like a
cat. I was thinking, "but it's not Hallowe'en yet!", until it clicked: he wasn't painted like a
cat, but like a rabbit. No ears though and no bunny tail, so it really wasn't that obvious.

Sorry for staring.

 ALISON TOON: Frightened Rabbit &emdash; FrightenedRabbit-AoS-28Sep2013-3418

The light show was interesting. Realising after one song that I'd not succeed with photos from the pit, I went to the back of the venue, and shot for the atmosphere, and the audience, rather than documentary. See what you think.

ALISON TOON: Frightened Rabbit &emdash; FrightenedRabbit-AoS-28Sep2013-3467

I went away from this show knowing that I'd listen to Augustines again... not so sure about the Rabbit, frightened or otherwise.

Augustines and Frightened Rabbit are on a major USA tour, with some dates in Canada, too: find out here when to catch them close to you.

Click on a photo to go to the Augustines or Frightened Rabbit galleries for more photos from the show.

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