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Bravery bold, International intense!

The Bravery / The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Vic Theatre
Chciago, IL
Oct. 4, 2005
The Bravery
The Bravery
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The Bravery
The Bravery

Story and Photos By Andy Argyrakis

When The Bravery first lit New York on fire following a residency at the legendary Arlene's Grocery in 2003, it attracted an onslaught of record labels and critical kudos. But like any band that seems to possess the sound of the moment, these 80s dance re-creators instantly graduated to the major leagues, releasing its self-titled debut on Island earlier this year. Interestingly enough, it's the same home to The Killers, a collective with whom The Bravery's feuded, garnering each act more publicity than either's actual music. As a result of the meteoric rise and such scandal sheet gossip, it would be easy to discount these Big Apple boys as merely contrived copy cats, though that would be unwise and inaccurate. Although they may not be the most original of all time, there's lots to like throughout a repertoire that's been influenced by the club tendencies of New Order, the goth tint of The Cure, bits of the eternally seminal Smiths and occasional doses of old school punk.
The (International) Noise Conspiracy From a performance standpoint, the group has the elements needed to stand on its own two feet, and come this headlining tour, have really stepped up its game several notches. Even for those who saw the guys during the sweltering heat of Lollapalooza just a few months ago would've been surprised at the improvements and would've gravitated towards singer Sam Endicott's presence. "How many of you were at Lollapalooza?" he asked at one point in the short but sweet hour long set. "That was the hottest day of our lives!" Though the Vic was still pretty sweaty and all the members were dripping within a minute of the opener "Swollen Summer," a tiny theatre was much more conducive to the gang's alternative arsenal than an outdoor festival.
By the second song "No Brakes" and it's follow-up "Out of Line," the rhythm section nestled into a thumping groove backed by new wave keyboards that would've got lost in an open field but filled the room properly. The BraveryThough it would've been easy to tease some members for wearing make-up and trying to look picture perfect (some could've come from neo-romantics like Spandau Ballet) they're playing precision proved The Bravery dug deeper than gimmickry. Other album favorites like "Tyrant," "An Honest Mistake" and "Rites of Spring" came during the initial set, followed by a mixed bag for the encore. The brand new "Old Glory" fell on primarily dead ears, while a relatively true to form cover of INXS' "Don't Change" earned a much heartier reception. It may not have matched up to Michael Hutchence in all of his glory, but at least it came off as more legitimate than any reality TV program in search of a new singer for the legends he once fronted. More importantly was its message of staying true to one's beliefs, which during times like these can often provide one's only means of solace and sanity.
Proactive thoughts also flowed freely from Sweden's (International) Noise Conspiracy, who besides empowering the people gathered learned towards political activism. As a result of that disposition and the band's artistic renderings, it recalled the early Gang of Four days, though there were also obvious Clash influences as well. Surprisingly, the group was even more on fire than the headliners, coming out in matching red and black jumpsuits whose layers were soon peeled off come many rigorous displays of acrobatics. Lead singer Dennis Lyxzn was remarkably limber running around his mic stand like a teenage Mick Jagger on speed as his backers bopped their heads and thrust their instruments as if a revolution was coming around the corner. By the second song, the front man propelled his torso over the security gate into the audience, clinging to a sea of sweaty bodies desperate to catch the microphone he was spinning in Roger Daltrey-like fashion. Cuts like "Let's Make History" and "The Way I Feel About You" from the new Armed Love were eye opening and abrasive, but provided a source of motivation and crowd movement unaccustomed to merely an opening act. But based on the searing and strident display, this group is amongst the most inspiring in rock's new class likely to reach The Bravery's status as bill leaders in the very immediate future.

The Bravery
The Bravery
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The Bravery
The Bravery

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