Silversun Pickups

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Average User Rating 8.95
Total Reviews 1
Last Reviewed August 20th, 2006
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Venue/Date: The Wiltern (Los Angeles, CA)
Concert Date:  
October 19th, 2007
Reviewer: aceshooter

      Venue Parking  
      Venue Security  
      Opening Band  
      Opening Song  
      Set List  
      Band Connection  
      Band Energy/Intensity/Showmanship  
      ConcertGoer Energy/Intensity  
      Sound Quality  
      Set and Lighting Design (SLD)  
      The Finish/Encore  

Silversun Pickups delight home crowd

Silver Lake's own pack the Wiltern and fill it with high spirits, playing the lush psych rock that took them nationwide.

By Sarah Tomlinson, Special to The Times

The Silversun Pickups are moving on up, and they're taking their friends and fans with them. The L.A.-based quartet has outgrown the small Silver Lake rock clubs where the group has been a staple for more than six years, selling out the 2,200-capacity Wiltern well in advance of Saturday night's homecoming show. But the band is still very much a part of the close-knit musical community from which it arose. The Wiltern was packed with fellow musicians from the area indie scene, including opening acts the Happy Hollows and Midnight Movies, and the Pickups played a boisterous 90-plus-minute set that felt just as intimate as the drunken, affable shows with which they built their loyal local following.

Longtime fans were there as band members literally learned to play their instruments onstage in the early days; they were there as singer-guitarist Brian Aubert overcame his natural shyness and matured into an assured frontman. They heard the current lineup of Aubert, bassist Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboardist Joe Lester perfect its lush, psychedelic rock sound. They're invested in how it all came to be.

The rest of the world came knocking this year. SSPU was asked to play Coachella and Lollapalooza, a raft of late-night talk shows and opening turns for Snow Patrol, the Kaiser Chiefs and Wolfmother amid constant touring of its own. Hometown fans were understandably excited to have their comrades back in their midst.

The band couldn't have been happier to be home either. Playing nearly all of its 2006 debut album, "Carnavas," which was released on local label Dangerbird Records and has sold 200,000 copies, the group was in high spirits, showing off how its dynamic, highly charged sound can range from pop prettiness to proggy excess.

Greeted like conquering heroes at the opening number, "Melatonin," the band unleashed a wild, moody soundscape built on tempests of fuzzed-out guitar, la My Bloody Valentine.

The adoring audience danced and sang along, anticipating every breakdown and guitar solo during the band's new single, "Well Thought Out Twinkles," a strutting rocker that recalls Smashing Pumpkins with its soaring vocals and churning guitars.

From the fiercely beautiful pop rock number "Little Lover's So Polite" to their anthem-like breakout single "Lazy Eye," which featured a guest turn from Paul "Pablo" Wilson of Snow Patrol on guitar, the band members controlled the night's mood like seasoned maestros.

The exuberant set was sloppy at times, but it just added to the night's congenial mood, as when Aubert started the song "Future Foe Scenarios" twice, just because he wasn't feeling it the first time.

The band returned for a kinetic four-song encore that included much of the 2005 EP "Pikul." Closing with the gorgeous ballad "Creation Lake," written by their mates in local band the Movies, the Pickups once again revealed that the shows may be getting bigger and farther afield, but their hearts will always be right here at home.

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