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Still accepting submissions for “Best Show of the Year”! E-mail your story and if it’s up to snuff we’ll post it and get you some free tickets. Today’s post comes from Jayne Ricco. Her favorite show was The Naked & Famous which was even more awesome when the Rangers won Game 2 of the World Series (I blocked out the rest of the series). Anyway, enjoy her story!

There was nobody naked, from what I could tell in my PBR-induced haze, but there certainly was enough famous to go around. During the New Zealand band’s October 20th show, it was clear from a quick scan of the audience that the band had launched itself from relative unknown to household name (assuming the household listened to “indie” music.)

picture by Bill Ellison

A packed house anxiously waited for the first melodic chords, while simultaneously anxiously awaiting Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers to bring home a win against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series. Upon news that Josh Hamilton punched in a run, followed by Feliz throwing a high-fast ball over the plate to end the game, the cheers erupted. Moments later, the cheers got louder as the band took to the stage. The excitement was so thick and rich, you could have drizzled it over pancakes.

What followed was a superb example of the musicality and lyricism that defined the band’s debut album, “Passive Me, Aggressive You.” Kicking off the set with the the catchy “Punching In A Dream,” singer Alisa Xayalith’s voice was impressively imposing, even amongst the powerful keyboards, guitars, and drums that create the backdrop of the band’s first big hit. It’s always a pleasure to hear a band sound just as good, if not better, live as they do on an album, and The Naked and Famous was no exception.

The band ran through some of its lesser-known but possibly best songs, including the mesmerizing “The Sun,” where the slowed-down pace allowed the talented musicians to show off their skill with instruments and displayed a more effervescent, relaxed vocal tone from Xayalith. “Girls Like You,” another one of my favorites from the album, contains an early crescendo that, for lack of a fancier word, rocked. It wasn’t just the music that was impressive – it was the band’s demeanor. They looked at ease and happy, and the transitions from song to song were effortless.

When the band exited for the obligatory “Encore” cheers, it had yet to perform their biggest song, Young Blood. They returned to the stage for their final song of the night, and Young Blood did not disappoint. The chiming of the first chords of the song rang from the keyboard, and before I even knew what was happening, I was jumping up and down, spilling my PBR, trying to remember the last time I had so much fun at a concert. Maybe it was the PBR, but most likely it was happiness at the sounds originating from the stage, and the knowledge that amid all the swill that blasts from the radio, a talented band was on its way.

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