The Cribs rock the Paradise

A review of The Cribs at the Paradise Rock Club on January 17, 2010

, Staff Writer

Well known for their energetic live performances, The Cribs brought their North American tour to the Hub this weekend, rocking the Paradise Rock Club on Sunday night with an hour long set that not only showcased songs from their eight year history, but featured guitar styling’s of the band’s newest addition, the legendary Johnny Marr.

Since adding Marr to the line-up last year, industry buzz surrounding The Cribs, longtime darlings of England’s neo-punk/indie Britpop scene, has reached a fever pitch here in the States. While many may view the pairing of the forty-something former guitarist for The Smiths (and Modest Mouse) with the twenty-something sibling-trio (twins Gary & Ryan and younger brother Ross Jarman) as odd, I cannot help but wonder if Marr is the final ingredient to a recipe for success on this side of the pond.

Captivating the audience from the first song, The Cribs hit the stage with “We Were Aborted” from their latest album Ignore the Ignorant, an album (perhaps thanks in part to Marr’s stellar writing and arranging skills) showcases the band’s breath of talent and experiments with complex melodies and more mature lyrics, while maintain the bands trademark deconstructed vocals and lingering hooks.

Up next was the bands breakout hit, the highly danceable track, “Hey Scenesters!” from their 2005 album The New Fellas, thankfully the venue was sparsely populated, providing plenty of opportunities for the predominately male crowd to “dance”.  Keeping the energy high, the band played “I’m a Realist” from their album Men’s Needs, Women’s Need, Whatever. 

After taking a brief time out to thank the fans saying, “This isn’t the first time we’ve played the Paradise, we played here a couple years ago, was anyone here? … well, thanks for coming back, we appreciate it”, the band played “The Wrong Way to Be.” The band then settled into a mini-set of songs off their new album including, “We Share the Same Skies”, which absolutely has the potential to be a massive hit, “Last Year’s Snow” and the first single from the album, “Cheat on Me.”

In the middle of the set, they slowed things down a bit to showcase the band’s more sensitive side with, “Save Your Secrets”, with its heartbreakingly vulnerable lyrics, “You are far more likely /To be devoured than empowered/ By your sense of romance”, but quickly picked up the tempo with crowd favorite, “Mirror Kisses”. 

The highlight of the show was the performance of “Another Number” from the band’s debut album The Cribs, complete with the entire audience singing, clapping and dancing upon hearing the first chord. 

To close out the show (there was no encore), The Cribs performed a raucous version of “Men’s Needs” and the brilliantly executied six minute “City of Bugs”.

Opening the show in support of The Cribs was Adam Green (of Moldy Peaches fame) and ex-Boston-based The Dead Trees, both of which put on spirited performances.

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