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Review: The Raveonettes put on impressive show without the bells and whistles

Tim Kubick / For The Lantern

I walked into A&R Music Bar to see The Raveonettes Saturday with a totally open mind. All I knew about the band was that it had a similar sound to 1990s indie rockers The Jesus and Mary Chain.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Opening for The Raveonettes was Melody’s Echo Chamber, a melodic and dark four-piece band with beats reminiscent of the dark pop sounds of Cocteau Twins. It was the perfect opening band for The Raveonettes, as both groups are heavy on electronic instrumentation and guitars while offering a boy-girl joint lyrical sound.

Surprisingly, the Dutch indie rock band The Raveonettes went soft on the bells and whistles many bands use to enhance the live show experience. They had some fog and blue, blinking lights, but that was it. They let their music create the atmosphere, and it worked just fine.

The audience was completely entranced by the band. Most people stood still, with a few swayers and dancers sprinkled in, but overall it was a quiet crowd fully entranced by the band.

Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo doubled as vocalists, while Wagner manned the guitar and electronics and Foo played bass. The drummer, who was not a permanent band member, lingered deep in the background, enhancing the electronic sound with live percussion.

At times it was hard to distinguish between Wagner and Foo’s voices because they harmonize so well together they sounded like a single instrument rather than separate entities, creating a dream-like sound similar to that of European indie band Lush.

The Raveonettes offered a simple sound that was somehow comforting. I immediately felt as if I’d heard it a thousand times when, in fact, I had never heard it at all.

Equally pleasing was the mixture of younger and older concert-goers, and the absence of that pretentious crowd feel often given off by the audience at indie rock shows.

I actually enjoyed the music enough to buy a CD at the show. Overall, it was a surprise success.

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