Frightened Rabbit delivers the kind of passionate performing, baring of the soul, and personal touch that reviewers long to see and keeps fans coming back for more. It also makes friends tell their friends, since the average Frabbiteer heard about them from a friend rather than the old way of hearing them on the radio. At least, that’s the way it is in LA.
Told slightly differently, some of Scott Hutchison’s stories would bring tears to people’s eyes. But instead, he makes people laugh and cheer with his elf-deprecating humor and wicked quips. Keeping things flowing between songs with such largesse and ease is something few performers accomplish.
LA got a few special stories. The Mayan is one of those imposingly unique venues with its ancient appearance. “I love this venue. You mean the Mayans built a venue in Downtown LA and they even installed a PA system?” He paused. “That’s advanced.” The Mayan’s gigantic mirrored ball got featured status during “Twist,” a number that was announced as a “dance song.” Bet your venue can’t do that.
When Hutchison told the audience that cheering like American audiences do would get someone beat up in Scotland, it illicited more and louder cheers. They spontaneously clapped along to “Living in Colour” and sang choruses of blushworthy lyrics with drinks held high. It would be nice if some wouldn’t have sung so loudly when Hutchinson performed a song on guitar completely without amplification. If there were more of that, people would actually listen more closely.
The whole backing band is great, but Grant Hutchison’s drumming really stands out for his ability to play varied textures, rhythms, styles and volumes. They also rarely use bass, instead opting for higher tones of 3 Telecasters at once. And newest member, Gordon Skene, has his work cut out for him as he alternates adeptly between fulling in on keyboards, guitars, and additional drumming.
They may have missed Coachella due to that volcano in Iceland, but it doesn’t seem to have hurt them. In fact, more than a few people looked up the Coachella Volcano MIA Class of 2010 and ended up making the Frabbits a favorite.
Rumor has it that they will be taking a break from touring for another record. Hutchison’s got his work cut out for him as the sole songwriter. The Winter of Mixed Drinks has to be one of the best and most overlooked albums of 2010 with its singable, intricate folk-punk tunes and enjoyable experimental elements. If you don’t have it, get it.
Do not miss Frightened Rabbit when they come to your town along with friends Plants and Animals as well as Bad Veins. LA has one more chance this Friday at the Anaheim House of Blues Friday. If I gave cheesy stars for reviews, they would get 9. Please check out their tour dates at www.WeAreFrightenedRabbit.com