15-02-2013 L’usine Theatre Geneva
For most lovers of original music, particularly atmospheric and dreamier rock n roll, Geneva, Switzerland would likely appear next to last on the list in terms of offering great places to see and experience a band like the Raveonettes.
In a city engulfed with a reputation for attracting people who only care about money, a city notably lacking in innovative music and the possibility for youth and adults alike to be turned on to any other musical styles apart from the cliche, poor, repetitive commercial pop pushed by the radio stations, it must come as a surprise to any passionate listener who found his or her way out to Theatre L’usine last Friday evening to bear witness to a performance of a band doing modern original works with a sound so rarely ever heard or talked about in these parts of the world.
Sure, Geneva can offer the occasional traditional conservatory-based concert for classically minded musicians and listeners…. but then there are the Raveonettes, a band that has subsequently increased in popularity over their twelve years in existence, selling out venues and receiving notoriety all over the world for their own brand of distorted, melodic, effect-driven music featuring fuzzy, delay-washed guitar tones reminiscent of surf rock greats like the Ventures or Dick Dale mixed with Shoegaze bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.
Whereas many bands choose to forget their older records and focus primarily on new material, Friday’s show couldn’t have been any farther from the truth, as the Raveonettes opened their set with ‘Hallucinations’ off 2007’s Lust Lust Lust, luring the crowd in with Sune Wagner and and Sharin Foo’s beautifully executed vocal harmonies (a detail that would carry them successfully through the show’s entirety). Their second number kicked the audience right in the face with the immediate impact delivered on ‘She Owns The Streets’ off the band’s newest album, Observator. Guitar tones couldn’t have sounded much cooler echoing throughout the L’usine’s concert hall.
To further captivate the audience, they threw in some of their distinct classics like ‘Blush’, ‘Dead Sound’, and a personal of mine, ‘Lust’, before reverting back to new material, performing a pulsating, ‘Curse The Night’ along with some other formerly released greats such as In and Out of Control’s ‘Gone Forever’ and the love based themes apparent in song titles, ‘Love In a Trashcan’, ‘The Great Love Song’, and ‘Love Can Destroy Everything’.
Based on musical performance, the Raveonettes couldn’t have sounded tighter, nor conveyed their musical spark any clearer. Nevertheless, a sense of disappointment or lack of energy towards the concert’s end seemed to loom in the air among the band members, whether it arose from a feeling that the audience may have been more bland than at shows in other countries, or perhaps it was a disinterest in continuing to woo the devoted fans attending as a result of a few drunks with no poise dancing offbeat and whom probably had mistakenly arrived at the L’usine that night thinking they were at a dance club spinning Black Eyed Peas. Perhaps it is an unhealthy note to attach to such a cool venue with a great band playing that night. Despite the unnecessary distractions, the Raveonettes shined on till the end and graced the audience with an encore of ‘Evil LA Girls’, before saying their goodbyes and thank yous.
Oftentimes, it never fails me to question that perhaps the reason an increasing amount of society this day and age care so little for going out to see a quality performance may in fact be due to the one or two that always seem to be a nuisance rather than an added benefit at a show. Regardless, the L’usine Theatre proved to be a fantastic place to see one of the most melodically inspiring and catchy modern rock bands out there today. Bravo Raveonettes!