Posted by: Cory | July 23, 2008

REVIEW: Apples in Stereo @ Headliners – 7/18

Apples in Stereo came to Louisville’s Headliners last Friday night, July 18th. The entire evening started off strange when, while having dinner at Louisville’s best restaurant, the Fallafal house, Robert Sneider comes in while I’m waiting for my gyro. It’s always interesting to me to see famous musicians in casual settings & reminds me of the way I felt when I was in grade school and would see a teacher in the real world. Once we arrived to Headliners, the real surprise came. Normally late to shows, our usual parking area was roped off, so we figured we’d try the main lot, only to discover that it too was also roped off and complete with a rent-a-cop. Talking with the security guys, we learned that there had been something of a falling out between the Headliners owners and the owner of the lot, from whom they were leasing. Whether the virtual absence of parking accomodations caused it or not, the Apples show was practically empty which is really unfortunate because all three bands put on a great show.

First up was Big Fresh, also known as BFF (Big Fresh forever), Lexington’s eclectic pop band, has been around a very long time, and is rumored to have frequently had a certain Mr. Jim James open for them in his college days at UofK. Led by John Ferguson (The Apples in Stereo, Ulysses) and Jeremy Midkiff, and supported by Ben Fulton (Ulysses), Daniel Coy, and Dave Farris, BFF plays the sunny kid of Brian Wilson-esque pop you’d expect for a band Robert Schneider would spend so much time working with. Hook after hook, these guys play such fun and beautiful music.

Poison Control Center, on the other hand, were far more rock than pop, and they loved spending time on the ground. These guys would get down on the ground and then lift themselves onto their own shoulders and play a light kind of hardcore punk as though they were sitting in a yoga class. While I’m not sure the noise makes for a good meditative environment, it was entertaining…at least for a while. I found it a little distracting and the gimmick wore down on me after a while. That said, the energy these guys displayed was incredible and at one point one of them did the splits off stage and just shredded his pants, which he had to duct tape, but that didn’t keep him from going up again and again, showing all the girls what he had.

Finally, the Apples came on, Robert playing his 60s inspired lo-fi pop music, infectiously causing everyone in the crowd, the few of us that were there, to dance dance dance. Behind Robert was a 50’s B film space alien on the keys. Despite the lo-fi sound, there remains an energy and fullness to Apples. It would be impossible to have been there and in a bad mood.To close the set, Robert invited a couple friends on stage, including Matt from The Genius File. It’s hard to find words to fully review a show when you just let yourself be consumed by it, which is exactly what happened on Friday. With so much fun pop and so much dancing, I’ll have to let the photos tell the rest of the story….

For more photos, including setlists,

Big Fresh

Poison Control Center

Apples in Stereo


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