Woodhands @ Biltmore -- 08/06/10

While I wouldn't say I wasn't a fan of Woodhands, they were just one of those bands I enjoyed when I heard come on the radio but never really seemed to explore more. When I first heard about their show at the Biltmore last night, I was undecided if I wanted to go. However, after multiple people told me just how fanastimazing they are live, and urged me to go to the show, I figured I had to give it a shot.

Vancouver five-piece Sex With Strangers was the first band up, and they had a really good energy to them. A moody synth pop sound dominated their robot-obsessed set, though a few of the songs seemed a bit similar-ish. The lead singer had an odd charisma to him, in that some of his banter would have seemed stupid coming from anyone else, but he managed to make it entertaining. He is definitely a good front man for the band. They were a Perfectly Acceptable Opener, especially for Woodhands. Nothing spectacular, that made me want to run over and buy their stuff, but certainly nothing offensive to the ears, either.

But speaking of offensive to the ears, after a lengthy delay between sets, Hot Tub came out. They hit the stage with the three female singers standing atop boxes at the front of stage, towering over the crowd with war paint and crazy costumes & hats. They spent the first few minutes attempting to pump up the crowd -- and trying to get stuff thrown at them -- to mild success, before going into the music. Their website lists them as "punk/crunk/funk", and I guess that is as good a description as any of the sounds that they were making on stage. It was definitely an... interesting set, and one member kept on flashing the crowd, by way of her boob "accidentally" popping out of her leotard after dancing too erratically. But -- much like their whole set -- it just seemed weird and like they were trying too hard.

Finally it was time for Dan & Paul of Woodhands to take the stage, and they started with a crazy intensity right off the bat that never faltered. I was amazed that only two members can create such a rich sound, but Dan did have a full compliment of keyboards, mixers and other trickery to help him out. Including the always awesome keytar. The rest of the night was just a crazy dance party, which even included people getting on stage and dancing behind the duo at a couple of points. Most, if not all of their songs got extended versions (Dan called them remixes, Paul called them "playing our songs different"), with them jamming out to each one. They somehow managed to keep up the incredible energy throughout the set, with Dan even jumping into the crowd to surf for a bit (while singing a few verses of Biz Markie's "Just A Friend", no less). After "closing" with "Dancer", which had the entire crowd singing/yelling along, they came back out for a two song encore, just to make sure that every last person in the crowd was spent.

I would have to say, everyone who was singing their praises was more than right, and they definitely won me over with the show. Next time they are in town, I would absolutely not hesitate to see them again.