BY TIM HINELY
Expected a total mob scene at Denver’s Larimer Lounge as Pains have been on the rise since their debut record a few years back and the Larimer isn’t exactly a huge place. There was a certainly a nice-sized crowd there, but it wasn’t shoulder-to-shoulder (thank god). Missed opener Ableboy who I wanted to catch, but alas. We got down there just before 10 PM to catch Brighton, England’s Fear of Men who were terrific. A four piece (2 guys and 2 gals, pictured below). Front woman/guitarist/leader Jessica Weiss apparently started the band a few years as an extension of her art degree at the university. She writes catchy, dream pop songs but not overly twee or anything (someone compared then to Camera Obscura and I don’t hear that at all though I do hear a bit of Lush). They played just about everything off of their recently released debut Loom (Kanine Records) and damn, I want to see them again, like right now (and next time they’ll most likely be headlining themselves).
Kip Berman still leads Brooklyn, NY’s Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but the rest of the band (Peggy, Alex and Kurt) is gone. He has a whole new crew which included Jessica from Fear of Men on keyboards/backing vocals (5 members in all, including Berman). Berman was jazzed on this night as it was the release date of the bands third record, Days of Abandon , and the first one not on Slumberland (instead on the Yebo Music label, a label I had not hear of before). Berman profusely thanked the crowd and stated how “Happy I am that the band has been at it for seven years, most bands don’t make it seven days.” Off the new record we heard “Until the Sun Explodes,” “Kelly” (which Weiss took lead vocals on) and the infectious “Simple and Sure” but the band made sure to kick in some oldies for fans who’ve been around since the beginning, like “Young Adult Friction” and “This Love is Fucking Right!” both off their 2009 debut (I also heard “Heart in Your Heartbreak” and “The Body” both off of sophomore effort Belong).
Longtime fans were concerned with the original members gone but no need to worry, Berman and his new crew sounded absolutely on. Pouring all of the energy and enthusiasm that they could muster the band seemed ecstatic on this particular night. For an encore Berman came out alone and played “Ramona” and then jumped into “Everything With You” and called it a night as the clock struck midnight. You want to cheer for Berman as he’s in it for all the right reasons. He deserves all the accolades and more.