Concert Review: Junior Boys at The Vagabond, October 24

Photo by Lex Hernandez
Junior Boys with Woodhands
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Vagabond, Miami

Better Than: Staying home, lighting some candles, putting So This Is Goodbye on blast and spending some quality bedroom time with someone special ...well maybe.

The Review:

The Junior Boys threw a Halloween party at the Vagabond and everyone showed up as a hipster. Ok, there was a guy in a banana costume and a rather detailed pirate walking around, but it didn't really matter what you wore because after the performance, it would have been soaked in massive amounts of sweat anyway.

The crowd stuffed inside the Vag that night rivaled that of the Glass Candy show a couple of weeks ago, and apparently things got a little too hot for the Canadian band's lead singer Jeremy Greenspan, who noted how warm it was. But even if last week's cold snap had stuck around, it probably still would have gotten sauna-like.

That's because the strange phenomenon of the Junior Boys is that without even trying, they make music that is undeniably sexy.

There's nothing inherently sultry about their stage show. Back Door Bamby's squad of body-paint-and-little-else dancers stayed put somewhere on the sidelines, leaving three white guys playing electro on stage fiddling with a mix of knobs and live instruments in front of some Halloween decorations. Not exactly the makings of a love-in, but as the band played onm so did the audience.

Greenspan might be the best "face like a dad with a laughable stand" intellectual white guy crooning emotions over electro beats this side of LCD Soundsystem's James Murphey, and together with fellow band member Matt Didemus and the tour drummer they manage to translate their songs from CD to stage rather seamlessly.

Paying special attention to the songs of their latest album Begone Dull Care, but still including favorites from the previous two, by the time the band finished with a one-two-three climax of "Happy Birthday," "Bits & Pieces," and "In The Morning" we were about ready for a cigarette and a cold shower.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Let's not let this bias get too personal, but that So This Is Goodbye and candles bit really does the trick.

Random Detail: We feel like an idiot for not dropping by the merch table to see if their new single for "Bits and Pieces" had dropped yet. It's not online yet, and we're dying to hear those Modeselektor and Prins Thomas remixes of our favorite song from the latest album.

By The Way: Fellow Canadian band Woodhands opened the show, and the musicians frantic electro provided a nice foil for the Boy's smoother sounds. Though, when a piece of equipment responsible for looping went haywire midway through the set, it brought to mind Junior Boy's own performance two years ago at Post, where pretty much everything that could go wrong electrically did. But they promised to come back, and they actually did.

As for Woodhands, the group still managed to get through their set sans fully working tech.

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Kyle Munzenrieder