April 9, 2014
Webster Hall / 4.five.14
I went to see Real Estate and have never felt safer in all my life.
I went to see Real Estate and guess what? They played their songs on a stage, talked a couple times in between, left, came back out for a two song encore and then left again. No risks involved here. Nuh-uh, all of this business went down with impeccable politeness and a mind to keep the sweat collecting beneath their J. Crew tweed blazers and L.L. Bean accoutrements to just a barely noticeable level. I, and the rest of the audience, appreciated that. The wildest part of the whole night were the looks on the two 22-year-old girls’ faces in front of us after I yelled loudly, in the key of a rather large brother, “Where ya’ll think ya’ll goin’!? Where ya’ll think ya’ll be goin’ there now huh!?” This happened when two clean cut Columbia undergrads came slithering by us in an attempt to get as close to the front as possible. The two girls, one in a full arm cast mind you, quickly turned around half expecting to see someone who they would later describe to their sorority sisters as an “African-American” but instead was met face to face with me, a 145 pound consummate white boy who was up until that point thinking about which early 90’s sitcom theme song contained the most soul (Perfect Strangers by the way).
Now don’t get me wrong. I like Real Estate. I admittedly caught onto their act a little late, finally giving Days a chance after being constantly bombarded with advertisements and friendly suggestions from my homeboys and girls but when I finally did give in and press play I was instantly delighted. It became something of a soundtrack to a brutal summer. “It’s Real” got me through many an early morning lunch shift at the Mexican restaurant I had recently begun working at after abruptly quitting my other one while “Easy” elicited dignified head bobs and respectful foot taps while I corrected my posture during the subway rides to and from said establishment. I even listened to Atlas two times through on the day it came out so stop reading my words with such angry eyes. Like I said, I like ’em but their live show is, and this is the first time I’ve ever used this word in a sentence, kinda whack.
It’s not that they don’t play their songs right or that they change up key lyrics and go into long winded masturbatory jams while yr feet are starting to hurt. No, it’s nothing like that. It’s just that they come out dressed like Pat Buchanan’s rebellious grandson and proceed to play their songs exactly by the numbers while seemingly spooked by some unseen force lurking up in the back mezzanine that may, at any second, lunge stageward and force-feed them domestic beer and non-organic Swiss chard. The horror, the horror. That’s all I really have to rag on these guys about though.
It was fun, stone-cold-safe fun, but fun none the less. We danced around to “Talking Backwards,” two-stepped to “Kinder Blueman” and watched the only black guy in the room make us all look way too pale under the black lights. I wouldn’t go see them again anytime soon unless they had a new album out and had Mel Gibson opening the show with a no-holds-barred spoken word set. They’re boring to watch, not Pixies boring, but close. Real Estate and the kids are alright. In fact, they’re healthy and sticking to a strict two beer tops rule. Rock n’ roll yo, rock n’ motherfucking roll.
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