Review: The Go! Team at the Echoplex

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From KCRW DJ Marion Hodges:

Go! Team album cover

Having suffered a little bit of Coachella envy from reading the tweets, and blog posts of my colleagues I was ready for some bands to show me a good time.  Last night at the Echoplex, The Go! Team did just that.  I’ve long been a fan of their unique mix of noisy indie rock, soul, hip hop, and inextinguishable energy. In fact, it’s the brilliant job they’ve done of perfecting that formula that has made their new ablum Rolling Blackouts one of my favorites of 2011.

Their live shows have always amped up their rock leanings more than the records, and Rolling Blackouts is the closest they’ve come so far to making a straightforward rock record.  Plus I was dying to see if Bethany Best Coast would pop up to sing “Buy Nothing day” (which she does on the record).

I missed the first opener Juiceboxxx, but the second openers Hot Tub were intriguing.  They seemed to have not yet made up their minds as to whether they were a party band with Riot Grrrl leanings, or the other way around.  I’m leaning towards the former since the last song they played was a three minute celebration of their boobs.  But there was a spirit to the way they performed that came across as clever even if the lyrics weren’t.  Maybe that was the point, after all, they were three very “healthy” looking girls prancing around in leotards, fishnets and jewels.  They’re based in the Bay Area, and as I watched more and more of it I definitely felt a vibe of girl Beastie Boys in the Pacific Northwest from them.  I walked out side with a line from Sex and the City (the series) running through my head “I can’t tell if you represent our (women) future, or our demise.”  And I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

The Go! Team took the stage to a very enthusiastic if not a little sparse crowd (I’ll go ahead and throw that one to Coachella).  They seemed slightly road weary, but still proceeded to tear into each song with ferocity, and have the crowd bumping the entire time.  The rapper known as Ninja is a born front woman moving from shouted rhymes to sung lines with the greatest of ease.  Her between song banter was charming, as she pushed for more and more dancing and audience sing alongs, and scolded those who don’t yet own Rolling Blackouts.”

The bulk of the set came from the new record, and while sadly none of the excellent guest stars popped up anywhere (Bethany Cosentino as mentioned earlier, or Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki) the band did a fabulous job of making the songs come alive.  Hits from the first two albums like “Ladyflash,” “Huddle Formation,” and “The Power is On!” were played to great thrill from the crowd as well.  All and all, a perfect burst of Tuesday night energy to power through the rest of the week.