Last Night: Frightened Rabbit At Walter's On Washington

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Photos by Jim Bricker
Frightened Rabbit, Plants and Animals
Walter's on Washington
October 21, 2010

Aftermath has always favored "out of sight, out of mind" over "absence makes the heart grow fonder," but after Thursday's Frightened Rabbit performance at Walter's On Washington to a sweaty and packed-in throng of adoring Houstonians, we may have to adjust that belief.

Frightened Rabbit have attempted to come to Houston twice before. The first time, they claimed to have had their tour bus break down, but singer Scott Hutchinson revealed at Thursday's show that in actuality, their drummer (and his brother) Grant had been arrested in Austin. Well, of course, it's not the first time Austin's asshole cops have fucked up something good for everyone else.

The second time Frightened Rabbit tried to come to Houston last April, they were prevented from doing so by a volcanic eruption. If it had happened in a novel or movie, people would have said it was contrived. Aftermath watched their Twitter account with growing dismay as they continually updated their status from London's Heathrow airport, until finally the cancellation was official. Before Thursday's show, you couldn't blame us for fearing it might not happen due to plagues of locusts, a meteor strike, or possibly an attack by Lord Voldemort.

But happen it did, and Lord have mercy, was it ever worth the wait. Walter's sold out early, before openers Plants and Animals even took the stage. Once they did, they were greeted by an unusually enthusiastic crowd who were energized and participating from the get-go, cheering loudly and singing along.

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Plants and Animals
Plants and Animals singer Warren Spicer seemed surprised by the warm welcome, which only soured when the Nova Scotia native took us on a trip down memory lane to the Houston Oilers' infamous playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills. You know the one, it was the game where the Oilers scored something like 300 points in the first half, guzzled horse tranquilizers at halftime, and then returned to the field to nap while the Bills frolicked and pirouetted freely into the end zone until the clock ran down.

"The Oilers were my favorite team, it really hurt to watch that. Do you remember?" Spicer asked. We do, Warren, we do. Too soon, man.

All was forgiven when Plants and Animals wisely went back to playing music, however, and Aftermath, never having heard of them before Thursday, found ourselves again pleasantly surprised at how good they were - now we'd pay to see them play by themselves. They fall somewhere between old Radiohead and new Flaming Lips on the indie-rock scale, with classic-rock inflections, particularly in the reverb-soaked vocals. Great stuff, and perfect for whetting the appetite.

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