05 November, 2007

Architecture In Helsinki @ WOW Hall, OR, 10/31/2007

Halloween marked a fitting night for Architecture in Helsinki to descend upon Eugene’s WOW Concert Hall. With their genre evading, zaney style of pop and energetic displays, the holiday atmosphere proved a perfect platform for the indie deviants.

Opening act, The Jason Webley Quartet soon clicked with the excitable, inebriated crowd. Lead singer Jason played the first half an hour of the set without his backing band, but still had the audience obeying his every order. Before long he had fans spinning in circles, putting their arms around people next to them and dancing to the band’s alternative take on folk rock. And renditions of pop songs including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” made the little known Seattle based band’s set ring with an air of familiarity.

After meticulous preparation of an impressive arsenal of instruments, Architecure were ready to jazz, raggae, rock and pop things up. With a flamboyant on stage presence that matched the band’s audacious musical style, Architecture in Helsinki reeled through a heavy catalogue of material climaxing with the feverously received, latest single “Heart it Races”. Mixing electro samples, rap, traditional rock melodies and even jungle infused beats, Architecture in Helsinki brought a sound never heard before in the WOW concert hall

Although Architecture in Helsinki are based in Australia, lead singer Cameron Bird lived in Portland for a year and it was in Oregon that he came up with much of the material featured on the band’s first album, “Fingers Crossed”.

Cameron then, must have felt quite at home as he and the rest of the six piece band worked the audience using a brilliant array of instruments ranging from electronic synthesizers to tubas and guitars.

With hundreds of people joined together in a sea of random Halloween costumes, hearing Cameron Bird unleash his unruly rapping skills over the tropically rooted, brass inflected pop jig of “Debbie” never felt more right. With no effort the band slid gracefully through musical genres from the subdued melodies of folk pop “What’s in Store?”, to the jazz infused rap of “Hold Music”.

But for a band with so many styles under its belt, it would be difficult to make these styles work in harmony with one another. No such problem for the Australian art rockers however, with the new sounds of electonica overlapping the classic sounds of jazz with such finesse you would deem it totally everyday. Incredibly, with such variety of threadwork running through the band’s construct, the sound is fantastically accessible and impossibly danceable. Architecture are true performers and even with their multi-skilled and richly influenced cast, they don’t let their experimental edge supersede their wonderfully fun pop sound.

[mp3] Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races
[mp3] Architecture in Helsinki - Debbie
[mp3] Architecture in Helsinki - The Owls Go


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