I wasn’t quite so sure about seeing Liars, mainly because I don’t even own their latest self-titled release from 2007. The songs I’ve heard from that sound like they’ve lost something quite frankly…as if they’ve sacrificed some of their edge to be thought of as more of a slicker and more accessible pop band (relatively, people. I’m not going to compare Angus to Prince or Michael Jackson any time in this millennium.) Still, due to Reggie’s more intimate size, I felt that there was the definite potential for this to be a great show and I was right…Angus was the tour de force I remembered…speeding ahead in a perfect glory and holding nothing back.
I have to backtrack a little and say that it is actually difficult for me to think of the Liars as anything other than a headlining band. That’s how I saw them a couple of times when they played Logan Square Auditorium and even when they played Pitchfork Music Festival a couple of years back, I seemed to forget about the other bands playing afterwards for awhile….Angus’s presence has a definite residue of permanence that makes him sort of unforgettable. He presents as a little possessed when he’s talking about the Salem witches. Though, I can imagine him sounding intense with a touch of demonic flair if he was singing about running out of toilet paper if he really wanted to. In other words, the man has a talent in terms of his live performance that doesn’t fully hit you on the records even on the earlier rougher ones like 2001’s They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top . Yes, Angus is from the same country that brought the world Nick Cave and he’s unpredictable, a one man storm that can bring about some beautiful disasters.
For this show, I was impressed with so many old songs as I felt worried Angus may be trying to gain new fans between their last tour opening for Interpol and this tour opening for Radiohead. This show, however, was all about the fans and centered on quite a bit of old material. Angus also eluded to being more comfortable with this headlining spot and with devoted fans he didn’t need to tone down the set for at all. For all his maelstrom when he was singing, I noticed he looked completely at ease and truly happy underneath on stage. This was an enjoyable experience. The audience wanted him and it was like he was able to channel this energy and not let any bit of the set suffered. I’ll also say that it’s not every day that you get to see a bunch of people all united in shouting out as passionately as can be imagined, “We’re Doomed!”