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Smith Westerns at the Echo on Friday February 11th, 2011

Friday night at the Echo was definitively a young night, after Therapies Son and Yuck, Smith Westerns were bringing even more youth, and I was suddenly feeling very old watching all these bands of talented kids.
‘Last time we played here, there were about 20 people, so we must be doing something right’ said frontman Cullen Omori at one point of their set. Yes, it was packed and their soaring sing-along choruses were finding echoes everywhere in the club, but at the same time they were bringing an assurance that was kind of absent in the previous bands; has the success turned their heads a little bit?

With his hair constantly in the face, Cullen Omori sang with high-pitched vocals, and Max Kakacek played a pretty bright and piercing guitar, revealing classic influences from Lennon to Bowie. There were a lot of these Bowie-T-Rex guitars on ‘Weekend’, or ‘Imagine Pt.3’, and also a lot of these wooaa-Mind-Games-like cries (or could it be from one of these Oasis tunes?) especially on songs like ‘All die young’,… ‘This is the most epic song we have’ said Omori before playing it. But I thought they had plenty of these anthem-choruses with balancing guitar and soothing organ, and doesn’t Portugal The Man do this kind of thing too?

It’s a pretty sound, almost too innocent, too obvious influence-wise at times, and with lyrics written in a Best Coast-style, but who am I to criticize teenagers who have already released two albums and composed their first songs around 17-19!

Smith Westerns were the headliners of the night, but it may have been difficult for them to install their pink-colored hymns after the fuzzy wall of sound that Yuck had built a few minutes before.

Setlist
Still new
Dreams
Imagine pt. 3
Only one
Be my girl
Tonight
End of the night
All die young
Girl in love
My heart
Smile
Weekend
Dye the world

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