Silversun Pickups @ The Thebby, September ’10

Back in 2006 I stumbled across Silversun Pickups during a random Myspace musical journey. They had demo’s of Kissing Families and Lazy Eye posted and were playing free shows in LA to build a fan base.

I really liked what I’d heard, so sent them a message offering praise from a far. I also offered to “buy them a beer if they ever found themselves in Australia“.

A year later after the Carnavas album was released and they announced a show at the Annandale in Sydney.

I rocked up on the night with my mate Ade to a line winding out the door and up the street. We only just managed to get in, the last of the tickets being sold out right there on the night. A whole bunch of people were turned away and the Annandale was chockers!!

What had happened in the meantime with this band? A 7 track EP had somehow found them a huge audience here in Oz apparently, that’s what!

The show was pretty damn good. The sound was crisp and clear, and you could hardly move all the way to the front! I remember they played really well, lots of energy and a happy vibe.

Needless to say, that beer I’d offered a year earlier was not needed: they clearly could sport their own. Haha!

Fast forward a bunch of years, two full length albums, a high rotation single on Triple J plus a spot on Guitar Hero and Silversun Pickups have found a solid following not only here in Oz, but worldwide.

On the bill with Birds Of Tokyo tonight at the Thebby, they played to another packed audience. An audience hanging off every note.

Sadly, terrible mixing had most people scratching their heads in disbelief, me included.

To say the sound was awful at this show is an understatement: the drums were muddy as crap, watching Christopher Guanlao doing his “raised-arm-to-cymbal” thing i swear every time he actually connected with the cymbal there was no audible sound! During the quieter moments Brian Aubert’s voice was barely audible over his guitar. And to make that worse, his guitar was soooo muddy and super low in the mix anyway! The only time when things really came together was during heavier parts of songs.

Photographically however, they were beautiful to shoot: the lighting was unchanging throughout their whole set, this is often standard practice for a support act so as to not take away from the headliners.

For me having seen a cracker of a show all those years ago I knew they had more in them than tonight’s show, however for all the fans there to see them possibly for the first time, I can’t imagine they were at all impressed with the performance.

Perhaps a sound check before the show next time?