I drove the 2.5 hours to Lawrence, Kan., last night to see the New Pornographers, a poppy six-piece all-star band out of Vancouver. With keyboards. I love keyboards.
There's a pattern emerging in my trips to Lawrence:
1. Get there early to buy tickets, in the off chance a show will sell out (like Spoon last month).
2. Go to the Replay Lounge to play hours of pinball — time usually equally split betweent the Playboy machine and the Magic Theatre. Drink pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
3. Take a break to walk across Massachusetts to Papa Keno's Pizzeria. Eat a delicious slice of pizza with mushroom and feta, and some breadsticks that are probably (i.e. assuredly) unnecessary. Top it all of with refreshing Mr. Pibb (not available in Wichita).
4. Kill another hour or so at the Replay. Finish another — ill-advised — pitcher of PBR.
5. Head to the Bottleneck for the show.
It's a great pattern, one I'd like to repeat weekly. Alas, there aren't shows good enough to merit weekly visits to Lawrence. But the scheduled concerts in the coming months bode well for repeat visits.
The New Pornographers were fantastic. Neko Case, voted Playboy.com's Sexiest Babe if Indie Rock, was indeed a looker. The drummer was intense. The songs were masterful, even if the keyboard was mixed a little low.
The set list:
The End of Medicine
To Wild Homes
The Laws Have Changed
The Body Says No
Ballad of a Comeback Kid
Testament to Youth in Verse
Miss Teen Wordpower
It's Only Divine Right
The Fake Headlines
All for Swingin' Around You
The Slow Descent into Alcoholism
Letter from an Occupant
There were others. I'll remember later. Noticeably absent was "Chump Change," but you can't fault them for playing too little. A great show.