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“Bloc” Party Steals the Night

The Backbooth, Orlando, FL
Friday, January 7, 2005

Tonight, I experienced the awesomeness that is Concisebloc live in concert. The show was held in downtown Orlando, FL, at the Backbooth. The Backbooth is a bar/concert venue which is relatively small, yet overall has great acoustics for live music. This, of course, is amplified by an apparently attentive sound man, as witnessed through observing the band’s sound check. It’s really a great place to see indie music, or just hang out and have a good time. They apparently only sell premium beers, as the typical Budweiser is not on the menu. The Backbooth knows quality when they see it – or drink it!

On to the show. At present, Concisebloc is having some lineup difficulties, as they are seeking a new drummer. The singer’s cousin filled in on drums for tonight’s show. Their bass player was also unable to make it, so the show was played sans bass guitar. This was obviously not a problem, as they still managed to pull off a well performed set, and the music was still able to achieve depth without the bassist’s presence.

As far as stage presence, can we say “phenomenal?” I think we can. They were full of energy, full of enthusiasm, interacted well with the very small audience, and exuded a broad spectrum of emotions. Needless to say, it was an intense set.

They opened the set with “General Warning”, the first track off of their new CD, All I Should Have Said. Right from the start, the band was pumped full of energy. In spite of the fact that there appeared to be maybe 50 people in the venue, they performed as if there were 1,000 people in the crowd, screaming along with fists in the air. If this had been the first time I had heard them, this alone would have instantly made me a fan.  They are truly passionate about their music above anything else.

The song that stood out the most was “Perfect People”, a song that Cloud, the band’s singer, wrote for his late brother. The song was performed live with just Cloud singing and playing the keyboard. It is an incredibly honest and personal song, and seeing it performed live was moving beyond belief.

While any band has the potential to be great on CD, what is truly demonstrative of a band’s greatness is the quality of their live performance. Concisebloc is one such band, who sounds great on CD, but provides such an energetic and enthralling live show that fans can’t help but love them. I hope the next time I see them live, there are 500 instead of 50 people watching.

Perhaps the 18+ designation which kept some of the younger crowd away on a Friday night, or perhaps it was Bob Saget performing at the Improv right down the street, but anyone who was not at the Backbooth missed a superb performance.

-Andrea Goodwin