I forfeited my ticket to Hellogoodbye last night to take care of some things around the apartment, but my friend Carrie went and snagged some pics. The show was in the Marlin Room at Webster Hall, a dancefloor with capacity for 500. While the space was visually interesting, particularly the decorative wrought iron half-circle behind the stage that resembled a peacock's plume when hit with the multicolored lights, the sound quality left much to be desired. Pounding bass for the first half of the set had my friend stuffing napkins in her lobes as makeshift earplugs.
Forrest Kline and the guys played a total of 49 minutes, a slim set that could have been beefed up by some older tunes, but it has become quite clear that Hellogoodbye are desperately trying to shed their Autotuned, electro-pop past. Most songs were culled from their sophomore release, Would It Kill You? They only reached as far back as Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! twice, for "Baby, It's Fact" and the encore. The latter came after a 15-second break, with fans eagerly shouting song titles. "No requests, please," sang Kline in Autotune, and eased into "Here (in Your Arms)" with the first chorus in half-time, which actually had some crowdmembers slow-dancing.
Hellogoodbye have grown up, or are "getting old" as one of their songs goes. Forrest Kline is the only original HGB member left, and chief songwriter, so if you don't like the direction he's taking, as a fan, you can stop listening, or as a band member, you can quit, as ten previous ones have done. Forrest mentioned he had a sore throat and would need help from the crowd to sing. Everyone cheered delightedly, and he responded, "Okay, well, this is a new song, so just try to figure out where I'm going thematically." Perhaps it's that my-way-or-the-highway attitude that scared away his past band members, but he's just so innocently likeable, especially when dancing like David Byrne to the new song, with its groovy bass and incessant disco hi-hat.
They also played "Swear You're in Love," which is featured on their Daytrotter session that dropped yesterday. (For those of you who don't know, Daytrotter is a music subscription site where you pay a small fee for downloads of exclusive sessions by bands ranging from Kris Kristofferson to Naughty by Nature. Hellogoodbye are even the A side of the latest Daytrotter vinyl split. You can sign up for Daytrotter here for only $2 a month!) Both tunes will likely find their way onto HGB's next album, which is slated for an April 2013 release.
Forrest said he was heading to Idle Hands after the show to play a few more songs, so hopefully he wasn't too hoarse. And hopefully people weren't talking too loud like they were for Brandon Reilly.
HELLOGOODBYE - 11.29.12 - THE MARLIN ROOM AT WEBSTER HALL (49 minutes)
When We First Kissed / Finding Something to Do / Getting Old / Baby, It's Fact / Dammit (tease) / Coppertone / There's Nothing Else That Seems to Be as True* / You Sleep Alone / The Thoughts That Give Me the Creeps / Swear You're in Love / When We First Met
Here (in Your Arms)