Photos of Pinback at the Gothic Theatre, 01/27/13 (review)By Nic Turiciano | January 28th, 2013 | No Comments »
For San Diegoâ€™s Pinback, a band thatâ€™s been around for 15 years and carved a unique (if somewhat monotonous) sound, doing what is expected seems like the natural route. Pinback made its name â€” and now a living â€” off of pretty, introspective indie rock that sounds like a singular tune.
And to a great extent that is exactly what Pinback did on Sunday night at the Gothic Theatre. The group stuck to its guns, playing tempered indie rock that, while its creation spanned three decades, all could have been at home on the groupâ€™s latest album, 2012â€™s â€śInformation Retrieved.â€ť
There were the expected intricate basslines, tinges of math rock and airy harmonies from the groupâ€™s two full-time members, Armistead Burwell Smith and Rob Crow. But what Sundayâ€™s concert showed is that there is a big, big difference between the Pinback found on an album and the Pinback seen in concert.
Helped by the addition of a live, forceful drummer, tracks such as â€śPenelopeâ€ť and â€śVictorious Dâ€ť became louder, larger and faster than their recorded versions. For one of the groupâ€™s most well-known tracks, â€śFortressâ€ť (which features such uplifting lyrics as â€śDays with the light off, freezing. You and I. Uneasy. Livid.â€ť), Crow even performed the patented 6th grade dance move, “The Worm.” This is especially notable because Crow, if you havenâ€™t seen him, is not a small man.
When Pinback played one of its oldest tracks, â€śLoro,â€ť immediately after one of the newest, â€śProceed to Memory,â€ť the years between the two werenâ€™t as apparent as would be expected.
Pinback’s latest songwriting has polished up a bit, the transitions are somewhat more pronounced and the melodies slightly more ambitious. But the two tracks side-by-side showed that the Pinback of now is the same as the Pinback of old.
The generous crowd, made up of predominantly aged indie rock fans, got what they wanted: a concert full of the songs theyâ€™ve loved for decades, but with enough of a live twist that they couldnâ€™t have been experienced on the tapes, CDs or MP3s that theyâ€™ve been hearing for years.
Indie music blogger Nic Turiciano is a writer in Fort Collins. You can follow him on Twitter at @nic_turishawno or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.