World Leader Pretend and The Bally Who?!

One Eyed Jacks

October 28, 2005


Well, shame on me for not reading The Times
Picayune once in a while. I had no idea this event
was going to be so commercially publicized. Tonight had a dramatically different crowd than what is usual for One Eyed Jacks. World Leader Pretend has been getting big buzz around the nation, and they found their way back to New Orleans to do a free show before Voodoo Fest.

From the very first note the audience was hooked. Sad to say, I wasn't reeled in as easily. They had a great catchy sound, sure, but something about them just didn't do it for me. I don't know if it was because they used simple guitar tricks or because the best player they had was a bassist they had to import from the U.K. I'm not going to lie though--he was really great.

A friend of mine quickly labeled World Leader Pretend as "Diet Radiohead" and made his way to the Circle Bar. Is being compared to a band such as that all that bad, though? I mean, half the carbs, but same great taste, you know? After all, at least they aren’t Diet Chumbawumba. I'm very torn with World Leader Pretend, to tell you the truth. On one hand they bring in a pretty good mainstream audience, but on the other hand, an audience shouldn’t have anything to do with my taste of music. Their guitar tricks are
simple, as I said, but they're fairly intuitive. Sigur Ros and The Flaming Lips both have very easy to learn, nifty guitar sounds. Not to
say that WLP and those two bands are alike, but some of the sounds are moderately comparable. The crowd loved them immensely. So, I guess if tons of people like them, they can’t be bad, right? I mean, Ashlee Simpson’s new album is number one on Billboard and she's talented, right?

As the night grew The Bally Who?! took the stage. I'm always excited to see The Bally Who? just because I always know something crazy is about to go down, and wouldn’t you know it, here comes…The Bally Who?! Marching Band, that’s who. The band comes on decked out in school band uniforms. They're a spirited band, so they always try to win over the audience’s pride. Spitz, is, well, somewhat of a performance artist for the band--holding up signs, acting out for certain songs, and really lifting the spirits of everyone. He shouted things like “We will not fail!” and “We will rebuild!” He might as well have been running for office. Hell, he might even win. “Remember now, we gotta be home by two,” said The Bally Who?! Which then started the chant, “FUCK TWO, FUCK TWO, FUCK TWO!” The show went on and on, and then went suddenly mobile as The Bally Who?! marching band paraded into the audience with their last song, and then outside, and then around the corner. Yes that’s right, ladies and gents, the first parade since the hurricane. Granted, it was a real small circle and around the block once, and I didn’t expect people to walk too long with only the last lyrics being repeated continuously.

Yeah, it was a pretty okay night, but I didn’t
have a kick ass time or anything. I had a better time at a puppet show I saw at Café Brasil an hour before the show, and I could have caught that show at the Circle Bar, too. It was still a satisfactory night, though.

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