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Friendly Fires Ignite New York City

Friendly Fires played to a sold-out crowd in the early hours of August 13th at the tres chic Bleecker Street venue, (Le) Poisson Rouge. They went on after midnight, leading certain members of the audience get impatient enough to throw some filthy epithets around. Despite the imminent threat of a riot due to the very long and involved set-up procedures that delayed the beginning of the set, once the first beats of "Lovesick" -- with some jazzy backing from the trumpet and sax section -- all hard feelings were forgotten in exchange for some wicked dance tunes.

Playing the entirety of their self-titled, Mercury Music Prize nominated album, plus a new tune called "Kiss of Life," it was obvious the lads were having a good time. And why not, the music is full of infectious beats and rhythm: perfect to bop to. Singer Ed Macfarlane shimmied around the stage in his usual full-bodied wriggle and too-short, too-tight trousers to enormous cheers, inciting the happy crowd to clap along in their dance frenzy. From "White Diamonds" to "On Board," the show was non-stop energy.

Even the chronically disinterested (we're looking at you, iPhone-typing, novel-writing man) couldn't help but pay attention. At the end of the show every last concert-goer was sheened with sweat, just like after a good work out or a good working over.


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Noah Michelson