Clem Snide frontman Eef Barzelay was a master of dry wit at his Hi-Dive show on April 14. Photos by Heather Browne.
From the Wayback Files. We’re a little late posting this one. — Ricardo Baca
What defines a Clem Snide show? Is it the dry wit that pours out everytime frontman Eef Barzelay opens his mouth? Is it the unabashed enthusiasm that shines out of everything drummer Ben Martin does? Is it the laconic music that attacks all the senses? Is it the skinny ties sported by bassman Brendan Fitzpatrick?
It’s all of those things and more. And when the indie rock trio took on an extremely quiet/reverent Hi-Dive on April 14, Barzelay tried to energize the crowd with a little life. He told jokes and stories. He replaced batteries in tuning pedals, turning the mic over to the super-friendly Martin. He sang a couple requests, and he did a mini-solo set to allow his bandmates a “pee break.”
The crowd remained quiet, but they hung respectfully on every word — with a few girls in the front obviously swooning over the statuesque frontman.
Clem Snide sounded best when it was just Barzelay by himself, delivering his distinctively heady vocals over his intentionally loud guitars. But the band’s “big” songs connected the most with the audience — including the thoughtful “Moment in the Sun” and the jubilant “I Love the Unknown,” which closed out the encore. And while those were nice moments, they didn’t compare with the subtlety of “Mike Kalinsky” and “Ice Cube.”
Ricardo Baca is the founder and co-editor of Reverb and an award-winning critic and journalist at The Denver Post. He is also the executive director of the Underground Music Showcase, Colorado’s premier festival of local music. Follow his whimsies at Twitter, his live music habit at Gigbot and his iTunes addictions at Last.fm.
Heather Browne is the Colorado Springs-based editor of the I Am Fuel, You Are Friends music blog and a regular contributor to Reverb.