Friendly Fires 5/27 Paradise Rock Club Boston Review

By Laura McWhorter

If you’re ever in Boston and you see a girl walking down the street drumming erratically to her ipod…that’s me. I am the best air-drummer in New England – or at least I was. I was unceremoniously dethroned last night by Friendly Fires frontman, Ed Macfarlane. Before my defeat however, I had the distinct pleasure of dancing my face off at the Friendly Fires show at Paradise Rock Club.

The three lads from England have been mercilessly touring since February in support of their new album ‘Pala’ – just released last week. They’re going to keep touring across the world until November and according to the sound guy…they’re going to do it all over again in 2012. Trust me. You’re going to want to catch them at least once.

The crowd last night came to dance and Ed, Edd and Jack (why he hasn’t changed his name to Eddy I’ll never know) and their signature dance punk sound filled the more than tall order to perfection. Never ones to hold back, they hit the ground running with ‘Lovesick’, ‘Blue Cassette’ and ‘True Love’. After the first few songs, we all quickly realized that ‘pace yourself’ isn’t a term with which these boys are familiar and the juggernaut of a set list (much like their careers) just kept powering on. While Macfarlane isn’t one for spoken crowd interaction (allowing the songs to speak for themselves) he hopped into the crowd a few times to break it down with us. This guy’s dance moves are unreal. We were definitely schooled.

The relentless beats provided by drummer Jack Savidge were the highlight of the night for me. When he said ‘dance’, we said ‘how hard?’ and the answer was always ‘as hard as you can’. He set a formidable pace all night but we weren’t complaining. It was as if the heat receding outside was coming directly into the venue as we jumped and screamed along to ‘Show Me Lights’, ‘Live Those Days Tonight’ and ‘Jump into the Pool’ (I wish.). The set came to a close with ‘Pull Me Back to Earth’ and ‘Paris’ and just when we thought we might get a rest, the lights hadn’t even cooled before they were back on for an encore of ‘Hawaiian Air’ and ‘Kiss of Life.’ This is where I was taken down a few air-drumming notches. Take a listen to the track and you’ll see why. You’ll also find yourself incredibly impressed that any one human can make those beats (and any second human can pretend to make them on imaginary drums) but it’s true.

The worst part about the show last night is knowing that their UK shows are incredibly flamboyant and much more of a production. They brought a tiny crew with them Stateside but back home they lug around two tour buses full. We can only hope that they keep going at this pace so when they come back they get to bring some of that flare the UK kids get to enjoy on the reg.

All in all it was a fantastic show and definitely a perfect way to spend a Friday night in Boston. So even though my ego is a little bruised (along with the rest of my body) and my foot still a little broken, I don’t mind one bit. Friendly Fires make it hurt so good.

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