The Sounds with Special Guest Foxy Shazam @ Mr. Small’s Theatre 9/14/09

It was a Monday evening. My day had been pretty much shot at my day job. You know what I needed?

I needed to dance.

Luckily, that was the night I got a chance to see The Sounds live at Mr. Small’s Theater in Millvale/Pittsburgh, PA. So it all should have been great. And trust me, the music itself was.

The night started out with Foxy Shazam who are…interesting…to say the very least. They’re a mix between Austin Powers and Spinal Tap, which doesn’t sound like it should work but for the most part it totally did. It goes back to my point: if you’re going to be a joke band, you still have to have some redeeming musical quality or you need to only perform two or three songs.

But Foxy Shazam went the whole nine yards, playing a full opening set. And the music was good, a mix of rock and funk complete with a keyboard and horns. And at one point, the band went sans instruments and performed A Capella…and did it WELL. Which, if you’re not aware of how big a deal that is? Trust me, that takes a decent amount of skill. And inbetween songs, lead singer Eric Sean Nally entertained the audience with lines such as “I’ve got $20 that says nobody in this room can kill me,” and “My friends ask me when I’m going to be Rich. I tell them, I can’t be Rich, I’m Eric!”

But even that was just a lead-up to the moment The Sounds took the stage. And they did so in style. The set opened with Felix, Johan, Jesper and Fredrick on stage, bathed in red light, performing the title track from the band’s new album Crossing the Rubicon. Then, the lights went blue and lead singer Maja Ivarsson took to the stage, decked out in shorts, a hooded top and some extremely impressive shoes.

Click the image for more photos from the show!

The thing that amazes me about Maja is that she is, physically, a tiny person. But you do not realize that when she is on stage and it’s not because of the height of her heels. Maja owns the stage, ordering the audience to sing along with her, moving non-stop and belting out songs like “Queen of Apologies.” She may be the smallest person on stage, but she is the one your eyes follow at all times because you have no idea what she’s about to do next.

The band also brought along an impressive light show, changing from song to song, projecting images over the stage and backlighting themselves for an almost eerie effect. The only downside to this was that it made photographing them extremely difficult for me, but dammit, I tried!

As I said, musically it was an amazing night. However, I can’t say it was all together a win. For starters, the show was delayed almost half and hour before Foxy Shazam took the stage. And, while the boys were good, I’m sorry, they weren’t worth waiting half an hour for. This was also a problem because the set-up for The Sounds took half and hour. And Pittsburgh busses are designed to make sure you can never get anywhere fun. Meaning that I had to leave part way through The Sounds’ set which made me extremely upset. And I know at least one or two other people who needed to take public transit and couldn’t call for a ride were in the same situation as I was. And that is just wrong.

Because from what I saw, this concert was an epic evening and deserved to be experienced in it’s full length. The Sounds know how to put on a show and being cheated out of any of it is like being thrown off the dance floor when you’ve still got some groove left in your soul.

So go see them if you get a chance. And this isn’t just for the US Buzzneters, oh no! This is a WORLD TOUR, so make sure to see if they’re stopping anywhere near you! And let me know what I had to miss because of the perils of public transit.