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pinback/crooked fingers
sunday, may 26, 2002 • crocodile cafe, seattle wa
• review by janice • photography by mike

review: Oh my gosh, Pinback just can't be any better! They amaze me each and every time I see 'em. I mean, this was our second time to see these guys play (here's the first), but we still left in an awe-struck daze.

Crooked Fingers: A misunderstanding with the Crocodile ad and nine loads of laundry made us a little late for the show, so we only caught the last few songs from Crooked Fingers, but I thought they were really cool. Instead of playing on-stage, they just set up in the middle of the club floor, with the kids standing or sitting in a circle around them. They had a stand-up bass, a banjo, an occasional acoustic guitar, and the I-just-swallowed-gravel vocals of Eric, formerly of Archers of Loaf.

They performed quite a few covers, including Prince's "When U Were Mine" and a Neil Diamond song. (Which made Mike comment that Eric sounded like Neil. I thought he had quite a Tom Waits thing going for him, especially singing with the cigarette in hand.) I thought they were really neat.

Pinback: Okay, Pinback are beyond "neat." They're freaking fantastic. The show was kinda low-key and quiet. (Even Rob commented afterwards that they're not usually that mellow.) Since it was the early all-ages show, the band were pretty focused on getting in as many songs as they could before they were forced to finish up. Especially since, as Rob put it, so many kids wanna hear that "one song"! : ) In fact, scribbled on Rob's bass guitar was "Play Loro so I can GO HOME!" Ha! I'd love to hear the story behind that one!

I thought it was kinda interesting that they seemed to play more songs off the first album than the second one, including "Tripoli" (yay!), but they also played "Penelope" and "Concrete Seconds" among others from Blue Screen Life. They were sooo quiet! Rob was so cute, in between songs, it'd be painfully quiet, and he'd shuffle up to the mic, and be like, "Uhhh....I don't know what to say!" Someone in the audience called out, "So, tell us about where you grew up!" and Rob blurted out, "New Jersey?!?!?!" and it was soo cute!

Everyone else was soo quiet that night though. Rob later told us they were conserving their energy for the 21+ show or something. But their musicianship was nothing less than astounding --- maybe the sound guy learned after the last Pinback show at the Crocodile, but the levels sounded much, much better this time around. Their vocals weren't competing with each other, like last time, and none of the instruments were overpowering their singing. They ruled.

related links

check out more awesome pics of the show at photophonic.com!