Little Red @ Media Club -- 11/02/11

photographs courtesy of the awesome Leigh Eldridge.
As far as I know, this was the first visit to here for Australia's Little Red, and while I may not have been a huge fan before the show, I had heard enough of them that I was intrigued to catch their show. And when I found out Sex With Strangers, whose Peak Performance Project showcase I had missed, would be opening, I was doubly intrigued.
I wasn't the only one, either, as the Media Club was packed -- unusual for a Wednesday night -- with what seemed to be a lot of Aussies in the crowd.

Vancouver's Sex With Strangers was up first and what struck me immediately was the immense charisma of frontman Hatch Benedict. He had an incredible energy, all over the place -- even off the stage a few times, where he sang in that awkward pocket between the front of the stage and the audience, going up to people, singing to them and imploring them to dance (with varying degrees of success). Musically, they sounded like synth-robots producing dancey rock songs; which seems apt, as a running theme of the set was the introduction of each song to be about robots. And while they certainly put on a fun set, I found them to be a bit... unfocused; a few songs seemed to lack direction at times. But it was enjoyable, regardless, that ended with what is hands down their best song, "New City Anthem". If all their songs were as good as that one, they would definitely be on to something.

Soon after, the five members of Little Red took the stage, mentioning they drove straight from Chicago to Vancouver, and were glad to be on stage playing music for us after 37 hours in a van. They kicked off with "Get A Life" and "Slow Motion" from their new album, Midnight Remember, focusing mostly on that. Their incredibly infectious pop rock got everyone into it and dancing, and the band was amazingly tight and with great chemistry. The harmonies were pitch perfect, and a few times they lead vocals switched from Dominic Byrne to other membesr; one of my favourites of the set, "Place Called Love", saw keyboardist Tom Hartney taking over vox and the song swelled to a raucous ending.
The whole set built with energy til the end, capping off the main set with a great new song and the energetic "Rock It". They were back for the usual encore, a bit of a slower song, before being coaxed back for a second encore, including insanely catchy and dance-able "Coca Cola".
It was a really good set, that definitely blew away my expectations. I know the commute from Melbourne to Vancouver might be a bit tricky, but hopefully they're back soon enough.