In their first return to the Bay since the Bimbo’s 365 show, Throw Me the Statue performed at the Great American Music Hall last night as part of the week-long city-wise Noise Pop event. Sharing the stage with Birdmonster and Stellastarr*, TMTS put on a very solid show, despite the absence of their rhythm guitar player. Taking the stage around 9, they started out with a very tripped out version of “Written In Heart Signs, Faintly.” While the album version of this song is very simple and melancholy, this new stage version has brought in other elements including a drum loop that amps up the energy, while still allowing an eerie feeling through Reitherman’s words and Goldman’s backup vocals. Following this, the crowd was applauding, but not sure what they were about to see. A good portion of the crowd had come for Stellastarr*, so this Throw Me the Statue stuff was new to them. And with that rendition, they weren’t quite sure what this band was going to be about.
They follow the opener up with obvious radio favorite, “Lolita.” This had the audience dancing as they played a tighter, more energetic version than can be found on the TakeAway shows. Goldman goes nuts on his xylophone-like instrument, and I question if he knows what notes he’s playing at that point. Reitherman has an interesting way of bringing his voice up towards the end of the chorus in the live versions of this song, varying the sound from the Moonbeams rendition. “A Mutinous Dream” comes next, and is pretty much spot on to the album version. Following this, they go into a very tight sounding version of “Take It or Leave It,” which I could see being one of two or three songs on the album that should be follow up singles to “Lolita.” The wall of noise portions of some of these songs really bring out the front man in Reitherman as it’s the moments where he seems least aware of the audience and most in tune with his music. “Young Sensualists” comes next with an amped up exuberance that really brings more life to the song than on the album version. The guitars drive a bit more here, and Scott’s vocals trail off nicely each time before the drums hammer in again. It’s a definite head nodder and this is the point where I look around and see a lot of people dancing.
It’s after this song that a person near me yells out, “Who are you?!” and I realize that they have yet to introduce themselves to the crowd. Before an answer can come out, the band is on to “This Is How We Kiss,” admittedly one of my least favorite songs on the album, probably due to the chorus. But it still has the makings of an indie favorite for others, so it’s really just my opinion that I’m not a fan. After this song, he says they’ve got two left and asks if the audience has any questions. Again the “Who are you?” question comes out and seeming to have forgotten to say it, he says, “oh, right, sorry, we’re Throw Me the Statue.” They play “Girlfriend’s Car” before finishing up with another one of my favorites, “About to Walk.” Again, Scott’s relaxed stage presence comes out at the end as he invites the audience over to the merchandise booth with, “hey, come hang out, let’s chat.”
After the show, it’s an interesting juxtaposition as Scott is approached by girls from the audience talking about how much they liked the set, old friends from high school giving him a hard time about various things, and his parents who seem happy just to see him doing so well, and of course, what parent wouldn’t be? Always nice to see the El Granada/San Mateo kid come home, and get a nice sized gig at the Great American. Here’s a short clip of the opening to “Lolita.” Please excuse the quality as I was hiding from security guards at the time.