Ted Leo At The Hook

Ted Leo at The Hook
Last night was my first taste of The Hook, Brooklyn's latest foray into the world of indie rock venues. The event was the first show anywhere this year by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. I've been a big fan of Ted's since the release of the first Chisel album, but somehow this show was the first time I've been able to see him live. I was not disappointed, either with Ted or the venue.

For those who have not been, The Hook is sort of a cross between Mercury Lounge and Northsix in terms of size and layout. To its credit, the space felt both spacious and intimate despite the fact that the show was sold out and packed.

As for Ted, my first impression was how utterly unpretentious he is. I can't remember the last time the front person of a well-known band came out on the stage 20 minutes before the show starts to set up his own equipment. No roadie, no guitar tech, just Ted.

Ted Leo at The Hook setlist
Another nice touch were the handwritten setlists for each of the band members, which Ted had personally written out on the back of the band's Rider for the show. It amazes me how many young bands have someone type up and photocopy their setlists for them, eliminating all the spontaneity and creativity that comes with a last-minute scribbled list of songs on whatever scrap of paper happens to be handy. Such setlists are very sadly becoming a dying art form.

The show itself was beset with sound problems, but Ted was in top form, sweating profusely and dancing around with his guitar like a teenager rocking out to the first Clash album in front of his bedroom mirror.

Ted Leo with rip in pants
A mere four songs into the set, during Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?, Ted's guitar hero antics resulted in a huge gash in his pants running from his thigh to his crotch, which left little to the imagination.

Ted Leo with pants fixed
That led to a short break and some judicious application of duct tape, but the show was quickly back in full swing with a rousing rendition of Me & Mia. There were a couple of new songs sprinkled in, but the set was mostly filled with the hits, including an extended set of impromptu encores. No fun covers, unfortunately. (Speaking of which, if anyone has a good quality version of Ted doing Dancing in the Dark, would you mind sending it to me? I would be extremely grateful.)


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5/3/07 01:34  
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15/3/07 10:19  
Blogger caffeinebump said...

Hi, I do have a good quality mp3 of his Dancing in the Dark, but either your profile doesn't contain your contact information or I am an idiot because I can't find an e-mail address anywhere...

23/7/07 19:01  
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