The Walkmen and The Sun at Detroit's Magic Stick

The first time I saw The Walkmen was in Detroit. My sister and her then-boyfriend convinced me to take a road trip with them to see a band with which I was only mildly familiar. I had one half of the band's debut, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, in the black LP sleeve. I'd later buy the other half that night and the entire CD a few days later.

We listened to The Walkmen and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the way up to Detroit Rock City. I fell in love with both bands. It also occurred to me that The Walkmen were responsible for that song on the Saturn ad.

The Magic Stick is attached to a theater by the name of Majestic and above a bowling alley/diner. The Stick contained billiard tables, a large dance floor, and a wide-yet-short stage.

The opening band was interesting. They fancied themselves rather dynamic, but their best song was a cover of that same Saturn ad song, "We've Been Had".

The second band was The Sun (or "Sun" according to a flier). This is only remarkable because The Sun are from Columbus. I had always managed to miss their sets while opening for nearly every major act that had passed through Columbus over the past year. They were considered to be the first major rock band to come out of Columbus since, well, ever. It was ironic that the first time I saw them was by accident and four hours away. The Sun were good. It's too bad that their full-length, major-label debut was released as a DVD of videos.

The Walkmen then came on and blew us away. They were all over the stage, swaggering and smiling their songs of break-ups, too much drinking, and fading hipster identities. The guitar work was acidic and the percussion rattled our bones. It amazed me that Hamilton could even speak, let alone sing after screaming every song.

An interest in a band was born out of that night that has not yet subsided. I always like shows that win my admiration for a band. This was one such night.

No comments: