June 20, 2010
Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa
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The Hype: Making their first ever appearance in Orange County, London's Athlete stopped by the Detroit Bar in support of their latest album, Black Swan. Anglophile indie rock enthusiasts everywhere would have their credentials revoked if they didn't attend this show. Along with Elbow and Doves, Athlete have found stateside popularity elusive, yet garner lots of attention in their homeland playing much larger venues.
The Show: Most shows at Detroit Bar do not include roadies and bands that provide their own sound engineer. While this may seem silly for such a small venue, it is a very good sign for the audience--the opening notes of "El Salvador" sounded perfect. Tim Wanstall switched back and forth between his Moog Voyager and Prophet '08 keyboard adding layers of sound to "Superhuman Touch."
Carney opened the evening with a mix of bluesy alternative rock, and they played like they were the headliner, piecing together a solid 45-minute set including a cover of the Beatles' "She's So Heavy." Zane Carney had a small treasure trove of guitar pedals that had him tonally switching from Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead to Jimmy Page. "Testify" closed out their set with a furious drum solo.
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