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This Little Underground

Unfocused, genre-bending opener Theophilus London (Oct. 8, the Social) has been getting some buzz lately. But, at this point, his live performance alone does nothing to suggest that he’s anything special yet.

Breakout British headliner Friendly Fires, however, was absolutely electric. Like LCD Soundsystem, they’re a fully live dance band. Their music, already utterly alive, was powerfully played and moved bodies. Speaking of bodies in furious motion, singer Ed Macfarlane doesn’t half-step anything. Vocally, he was on. And in terms of physical output, he was already down in the middle of the packed crowd on the first song. After only about 20 minutes onstage, he was drenched in sweat and looked like he’d just stepped out of a swimming pool. This is a guy who pours his everything into it. And that’s exactly what we want to see in a performer. Buuuut, during some of his more spirited fits, it’s a little hard not to realize that you’re watching every funny stereotype about white people and dancing unfold in Technicolor right before you. It’s not a consuming distraction to their dazzling, joyful show or anything. But I won’t lie, I did almost spit up beer a couple times. Sorry.

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