By: Troy Frisby
Performing at the Magic Stick downtown on Sunday, the Raveonettes first appeared through a translucent sheet of fog and a swirl of colored lights.
Without a word, the group began their set in their unique heart-pounding yet somber style. The exceptional first half of the show is a testament to their new album, “Oberservator,” which is arguably the group’s best and most mature to date.
Their passion shined through in their rendition of “She Owns the Street,” a song the album’s songwriter and male half of the duo, Sune Rose Wagner, said was a personal favorite to perform in our interview last month. Other highlights included “The Enemy” and “Young and Cold,” both of which also came from the new album.
With a mellow yet confident presence, the band’s music sounded richer than from their albums, their voices purer. Throughout the set, the duo barely interacted with the audience, instead plowing through their set as if nothing mattered but the music.
The only real interaction came a few songs into the show when a fan shouted out a request. Wagner’s female counterpart, Sharin Foo, gave only a one word in response: “Patience.” Still, while the crowd was virtually noiseless throughout the songs, there was an attentiveness while they stood that signaled a collective captivation not seen at many other shows.
The show seemed to somewhat falter a bit when they transitioned into older material. Near the end of the set, the group played several songs that seemed to be coming from an entirely different band. The songs were distortion-heavy tracks from past albums, namely “Lust Lust Lust.” Though the performances were great, the dissonance between the two styles was somewhat jarring.
Yet it’s somewhat difficult to fault great performers for playing to those who are most passionate about their music, for better and for worse. While every moment wasn’t perfect, Foo’s call for patience was especially, because with patience, every once in a while, the Raveonettes achieved greatness with their performance.