Yes, they were THAT good. Ken Andrews and his extremely talented bandmates completely blew my mind last night at the Troubadour. I frequent the OneLineDrawing.com message board, and I just so happened to catch this ‘secret show’ and the first live performance ever by On thanks to a posting sent for me by a good friend.Luckily, I was able to go, because had I missed this set, knowing what I know now, I would have been very upset.
There was more professional polish and perfection to this show than I have had the pleasure of experiencing in quite some time. They were so smooth and so awesome. Ken Andrews, (formerly of Failure) being one of my all-time favorite singers anyway, (okay, so maybe I’m biased), has the most amazing, warm quality to his voice. He does things with the ease and effortlessness that some artists can only dream of. Or at least he makes it seem that way. It’s obvious, at least to me, that he was born to do what he does.
I won’t soon forget the electricity that flowed through that club last night. I think people were truly impressed. On left a lasting mark on a lot of us. The band opened with one of my favorites from ‘Shifting Skin,‘(Sony Music), entitled ‘Perfect Imposter‘, and continued through all but 3 songs from the debut CD (which EVERYONE who reads this should buy!) and each song was sweet perfection. Needless to say, the set ended far too quickly. You know what they say about time flying… Ken finally gave us all the gift of a smile during the last song, ‘Building‘ and for me, that was the deciding factor that showed he was pleased with how things went.
In the way that a camera loves a beautiful woman; the amazing sound system at the Troubadour loved this band. The technology at the fingertips of the five of them was put to better use than I’ve seen since being blown away by Trent Reznor back in ’94. Except that On doesn’t throw temper tantrums. I especially appreciated Tim Dow (drums). He was so solid, so intense, and being the perfectionists that all of them seem to be, it came off as a flawless performance. It was hard to choose who to focus on, honestly. So I tried my best to give everyone equal time. What I heard and felt from the sheer quality of the music could almost speak for itself. I plan to see them again and again.
Do yourselves a favor and visit the website www.onmusic.org, then run out and get this CD as soon as you can! And be sure to catch them when they officially play in your city. You will not be sorry, I promise.
Congratulations to all of the members of On on a killer first show. I’m a fan! (I’ll give you ONE guess as to what is in my CD drive right now…)
Special thanks to Joanne Smets for the tip, the incredible work on the On website, and the good times last night. And to Lisa Markowitz at Sony Music in New York for the much appreciated information on one of the best bands of 2000.