With the spring breeze in the air on an early night in Willimsburg, Brooklyn last Wednesday, fans packed the Knitting Factory to see the Miniature Tigers play their first show EVER in the BK area. Four of the nicest guys took time out to greet friends and fans that they passed throughout the night.
Hitting the stage first was The Stationary Set. The room was already starting to get packed for this indie buzz band. Trading instruments like something you would see at a Sloan show, and seperate precussion that you would experience while seeing Pavement, were both driven throughout. Lead singer (most of the time at least), Andrew Lutes, has one of the most poppiest voices I’ve heard in a long time. Though these boys may be on a small label they certainly have a big label sound and potential. I can only imagine we will be hearing more about The Stationary Set in the coming months.
The next to take the stage was Australia’s own, The Grates. The quintet led by charasmatic and energenic front woman, Patience Hodgson, literally blew the crowd away (even down to her golden chucks). What we were in for, and I’m sure no one was aware, was a 45 minute set of pump-your-fist-dance-your-ass-off music. If you didn’t look like you were having fun Hodgson got in your face and made sure that you did. And who could resist? The Grates play amazing indie pop tunes with a dab of Gwen Stefani style. Heading into the crowd several times, she really won the whole crowd over, leaving a once skeptical audience wanting more.
Around 10pm, the Miniature Tigers took the stage with big grins on their faces. Rick Schaier’s signature moustache is noticably gone, and I couldn’t help but think of the fresh faced CMJ newcomers I had originally met in 2008 and interviewed in a diner. It’s amazing how far they’ve come since their first New York City trip.
Most of the night was filled with upcoming material from their second record, Fortress (ModernArt) that is due to be released this summer. Produced by musician/friend/tourmate Chris Chu of The Morning Benders, you can really feel how the group has crafted their songs further from the early versions they have been playing recently on their last couple of tours.
New tracks like “There’s a Japanese Woman in My Closet,” and “Bullfighter Jackets,” were amazing to hear live on stage and really started to give the audience a glimpse of what the new album is going to sound like. Singer Charlie Brand’s voice is more brilliant in tone than ever. For a few songs, the band switched it up a bit as Schaier
took to the keyboard and synths and guitarist Algernon Quashie went behind the drums. Though I am not sure of the title, Rick took the lead vocals on one track that was very un-Mini T’s like but it was incredible nonetheless how it switched things up.
Brand also came out from behind the guitar and went mic-stand solo for a track as well. The band has become quite popular with fans and fellow musicians alike as there was some giggling high school girls in the corner, and you could see Tim Or of The Morning Benders and Christian Rudder of Bishop Allen watching the show from the center of the crowded room.
Everytime I see the Miniature Tigers they get better and better. I’m not sure how it’s possibly but they manage to pull it off flawlessly every single time. Watch out for Fortress this summer, and the band will most certainly be on tour thereafter. Be sure to check them out when they pass by your fortress!
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