So this New Jersey-based band called Real Estate came to San Francisco this weekend to play two sold-out shows for Noise Pop at the Independent. The lighting and stage design was spectacular. The opening bands were superb. The venue was excellent.
Though all of these factors came together for a great experience, the one thing I will take away is that one drunk girl who screamed at Real Estate to play it’s song “All The Same” for the entirety of its set, and how she unintentionally fostered a sense of community.
But that will all be explained later.
Opening was Dominant Legs, a trio out of San Francisco. The band had three easily defined traits: strong, jazz-like basslines, a pre-recorded, kicky synth beat and a vocalist who sounded strikingly like Andy Bell (of Erasure fame) to match. At times, the drum machine on the recording synced up with the actual drummer’s beat, making for a full sound that bands such as the Melvins and the Feelies (for a spell) have achieved with two drummers.
Next were The Shilohs, a Vancouver-based band that draws from influences such as Big Star and Neil Young, maintaining a ‘60s rock spin. Off of New Images, a record label run by Matt Mondanile of Real Estate and Ducktails, the band released its full-length, So Wild, last year.
Though The Shilohs try to maintain an allegiance to the ‘60s, there’s no question that both the band and Real Estate sound incredibly similar. This was probably why the band was booked for the show, and how they landed on Mondanile’s label. And the audience ate it up, as many more people gathered close to the stage to watch the band play.
After The Shilohs finished up, Real Estate appeared on stage in due time. In the interest of promoting new material, the band opened up with “Had to Hear” off of its latest album, Atlas.
Then it started soon after that song. Off in the distance I heard someone yell “PLAY ‘ALL THE SAME!’”
Initially I thought nothing of it — I mean, it’s a good song. It’s the perfect, psych-rock infused closer to the Real Estate’s well-recieved 2011 album, Days. Skip 15 minutes or so ahead to the third song of the set: three others have joined the plight for Real Estate to play “All The Same.” Song after song, (that wasn’t ‘All the Same’) more and more joined in the chorus for that damn song to play.
And you know what? Eventually Real Estate did play “All the Same” during its encore, along with “It’s Real.”
Real Estate obliges.
But instances such as this, when the demand of one inebriated audience member becomes the demand of many, remind me of how much I enjoy attending shows. Seldom do you enter a room to find that (nearly) each and every person in it all enjoy the same thing. And this was the case for the Real Estate show at the Independent.
And there’s definitely something to say about that.