Modernstate impressed once again. The music is experimental with lyrics that are at times political and other times philosophical (and at times, both) and the trumpet, guitar, keys and drums are played live and then amazingly looped to make it sound like there's a larger band making the accompanying sounds.
Unfortunately, I was beard shy once again, so I didn't take very good pictures while they played, but talking to the guys after, they let me take a pic of them and turned out to be really great guys. I know I need to get over the beard=band of horses=bastard association, but I guess I'm still a bit scarred.
After modernstate, Ra Ra Riot hit the mainstage. I never thought I would say I'd rather see a band at the Beauty Bar instead of the Casbah, but if Ra Ra Riot comes through town again, that is where they should play (and I told them so after the show). They have this great indie rock sound complete with electronic violin and electronic cello, occasional keys with the standard guitars and bass, but the guitar and drummer keep a very New Order dancey pop beat throughout.
The band is a 6 piece from Syracuse, New York and the crowd was thin, but I know I don't speak for myself by saying they were great. This was the band's first time to San Diego and they finished their tour here before they head to Europe for an opening spot with the Editors. They've also toured with Tokyo Police Club. The band looks relatively young, but they are all skilled musicians and seem to have already been through a lot as a band, including the tragic loss of their drummer this summer.
The band seemed a little crowded on the stage because they're all so high energy and they bounce all over the stage, and at times, into one another. "We're not usually like this," Wes told the crowd, "but it's the last night of our tour." They busted through their set and just as quick, their set was over. The band has 4 days to get back to Syracuse. "We're stocked on RedBull and we're gonna drive non stop for two days." Crazy, crazy kids.
It seemed like the bands liked San Diego and hopefully keep us in mind next tour around, when surely their buzz will be guarantee a larger audience.
After the bands finished and after the Casbah scooted everyone out, it was still pretty early. The modernstate guys were staying with a friend near Scolari's, so I suggested checking out the Pink Elephant. As I was leaving the Casbah, I saw they were jumping the engine of Ra Ra Riot's van, so hopefully those guys got on the road safely and don't encounter any problems in their marathon drive across the country. They showed up at the Pink Elephant shortly after me and it was fun hanging out to close out the night. The pink elephant parade came on and signaled the end of the night so we said our goodbyes and I was on my way to reflect on another great evening in San Diego.