Concert Review: Silversun Pickups @ 9:30 Club (11/14/17)

Silversun Pickups
Silversun Pickups at the 9:30 Club on November 14th (Photo from FB @silversunpickups, Credit: Citizen Kane Wayne)

Don’t hit the panic switch, Silversun Pickups returned to DC in glorious form!

Brian Aubert apologized to the revelers at the sold out 9:30 Club for the fact that his alt-rock band had not played in DC in quite a long time. He offered a few mea culpas – like he had broken his arm earlier this year, and while recovering got the flu.

Despite that, they did play at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2016, but by my estimation, they haven’t actually played in DC since 2013’s DC Chili Cook-Off festival (which I witnessed).

In the spirit of the holiday season, let’s give Silversun Pickups a pass on staying away for so long, especially when they more than made up for it with their rocking kick ass set on November 14th.

Out of Los Angeles, aside from Brian on lead vocals and guitar, the band is always smiling Nikki Monninger (bass, vocals), hair flying Chris Guaniao (drums), and Joe Lester (keyboards, guitar).

Still touring off the merits of their incredible 2015 album, Better Nature, they played six songs from that album (out of 16 total).

With a long musical lead in to start the show, Brian’s unique, often raspy, voice worked its way into “Nightlight” and came into its own by the chorus ‘We only want it with the lights out’.

“Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)” is an upbeat head nodder about finding your place, that agreeably features both Brian and Nikki on vocals. This rendition was among the highlights of the show, ‘Nowhere left to go, stay with me.’

Another highlight from Better Nature, “Latchkey Kids”, had the crowd (at least near me) level up beyond mere head nodding into full-blown dancing.

Other songs from previous albums like “Panic Switch” and “Lazy Eye” showcased the heavy riffs and drums that originally got me excited to listen to them as a band. Through my powers of observation, the super packed crowd appeared equally excited by their musical offerings, as the band scorched their way through each amazing song.

Throughout the evening, a roadie had to gingerly help Brian put the straps on each of his guitars around his neck, with his arm still sore and lacking a full range of motion. He was able to play, happily enough.

Towards the end, Brian gave a shout out to the opening band, Minus, the Bear, by exclaiming they are ‘…great kissers, but shitty huggers. They really get in there.’ He told a couple of jokes too, like when mentioning they had family in attendance he added, “Dad I told you not come! You have a restraining order.”

Three songs rounded out the encore, including the single from their third album “Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)”, which I had failed to fully appreciate until now. They ended the show with the slower “Kissing Families”, another song I didn’t take notice of previously because it’s on their first EP from 2005 which I don’t own! Off to Amazon to correct that now.

We hope Silversun Pickups will visit DC with more frequency. When they do, make sure to be first online to get your tickets. Maybe they’ll even have new music to regale us with!

Well Thought Out Twinkles
The Royal We
Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)
The Pit
Little Lover’s So Polite
Friendly Fires
Latchkey Kids
Panic Switch
Rusted Wheel
Lazy Eye

Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)
Kissing Families


Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

4 thoughts on “Concert Review: Silversun Pickups @ 9:30 Club (11/14/17)”

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