PREVIEW: Violent Femmes and Echo & the Bunnymen at The Anthem on 7/25
Summertime: time for frosty bevs, sweet treats, reunions and nostalgia, and time to break away from the normal weekend kick-back and have fun all week long.
Wednesday’s double bill at the Anthem delivers all that and more. The double header of age-defining tunes by the Violent Femmes and Echo & the Bunnymen will have you dancing, singing and remembering why summer is the best season of the year.
The Violent Femmes will take the stage with their signature brand of bouncy, raggedy rock music. Discovered by The Pretenders in the early 1980s, the Violent Femmes made their mark on rock and roll fusing traditional folk sounds with jittery punk. Through the early years they proved again and again that acoustic sets can rock, and rock hard -- so much so that they inspired the successful “MTV Unplugged” series.
The Violent Femmes released their self-titled debut album in 1983. Though it had little immediate commercial success, the band’s particular way of distilling adolescent angst with raw precision gave them a cult following of troubled teens and frustrated adults all over the world. You can count on the band celebrating their 35th anniversary with tunes like “Kiss Off,” “Add it Up,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” and the perennial favorite: “Blister in the Sun.” These are the songs not just of your generation, but of every generation.
With their debut album "Crocodiles" reaching into the top 20 UK Albums charts, Echo & the Bunnymen has balanced mainstream success with cult status throughout their decades-long career. Their post-punk new wave melodies are infused with Doors-like psychedelia creating a sound that is both all their own and genre defining. That balance means you can expect a set that is at once moody and earnest and will quickly transition into anthemic-like rock tunes.
This year marks 40 years since Echo & the Bunnymen formed in Liverpool so you can expect a set as varied as it is full, and they won’t make you wait for the hits. The band often performs on darkened stages with little effects allowing the songs to stand for themselves. They deliver with a vitality that will have you on your feet and singing along to tunes like “Lips like Sugar,” “The Cutter” and “The Killing Moon.” This is the kind of show that will have you wondering why you don’t go out during the week more often.
All of this takes place at The Anthem on Wednesday, July 25, the newest member of the IMP family. If you haven’t yet experienced a show at this new venue, think of the Anthem as the older cousin of the 9:30 Club -- a little more grown up, a little more polished, but no less fun. The 2500-6000 seat venue can be fully seated or feature an expansive dance floor (we’re hoping for the latter Wednesday!). Each floor has multiple bars, with the upper levels featuring happy hour specials. And just like its 9:30 Club and Lincoln Theatre cousins, The Anthem has a signature dessert. Enjoy a Wharfle before the show, hanging out on the marquis balcony watching the sun set over the Wharf. It is the perfect way to prepare to sing along to “Lips Like Sugar.” Summer never had it so good.