Fifteen years. This is when most bands start muttering to themselves about reunion tours. Formed since 1993, their first album released in 1995, (when they still had another female Japanese art student in the band to balance symmetrically against the Italian Pace twins), it took six more full lengths and more than twice those years, but last night they played to a sold out, fully engaged audience at Webster Hall.
I was worried that the softer pop material from their new album, 23, would be boring live, but they managed to turn everything they played up to a head-nodable levels. That coupled with the enormous (and fully utilized) bass / subwoofers at Webster Hall ensured a high ceiling of intensity.
Ah, married couples in bands. I was handed some numbers that may or may not be true, but Simone Pace and Kazu Makino have apparently been conjugally joined for seven years? [UPDATE: None of them are married. Apologies on the confusion.] And they’re in their fourties? I guess that’s possible. Anyway, if our generation really is obsessed with prolonging adolescence, count them in it (and not Gen X!).
The last time I saw them, circa Misery Is A Butterfly, I had a hard time accepting that Amedeo Pace was cueing so much of the sonic material, leaving the audience to listen to its imagined performance, or to accept hitting a button as the act of performance. This time around, I was far more intrigued by the chemistry between the three players, by the ceaseless energy and care they seemed to put into every movement, the sort of behavior (and the sort of strange multi-layered personal relationships between members, to go with their multi-layered musical compositions!), that are pure signs of a band in it for the love of their craft.