Tempo No Tempo, French Miami, & Boyz IV Men at Amnesia, 10/1/2009

It has been a policy of mine to never review friends’ shows ever since I started watching live music with a critical eye. Today, I will break that rule to tell the world about what a great time I had watching French Miami and Tempo No Tempo at Amnesia.

In true San Francisco form, the show started at 9pm but I showed up at 9:45, promptly missing all of Boyz IV Men’s set. Fortunately, Amnesia is so small that I gave their last two songs a good listen while I was locking up my bike. Boyz IV Men sounded ridiculously awesome and piqued my curiosity. It sounds like they’ve come a long way from what I heard on their Myspace page. The tracks don’t do their live show justice—but the true essence of live electronics is in the on-stage performance, in my opinion. Hence why the genre is called live electronics.

Finally home from a national tour, in support of their self-titled debut (released by Take Root), French Miami played a solid set full of old favorites and fresh material. As lead singer, Jay Heiselmann, announced before the first song, they were about to hit the studio and needed to practice these new tunes. For me, the new songs were hit or miss, some lacking the energy of their more rehearsed anthems, which killed. “Multi-Caliber Rifles” does it for me every single time. Overall, the set gelled nicely; giving me flashbacks to the first time I saw them exactly two years ago. I look forward to hearing more French Miami classics at later shows, but after not seeing them for months, I was happy to hear some new tunes that will certainly be stuck in my head in the not-so-distant future.

Trying to remain an objective observer, I won’t tell you that I’ve been completely obsessed with Tempo No Tempo since they reworked their sound from dance-punk to spaz-reggaeton. While listening to them, I couldn’t help but be hypnotized by the pulsating groove created by drummer, Alex Kaiser, and bassist, Jason Wexler. At certain points, I had a problem discerning whether or not they were beginning a new song—but it still felt like a nicely crafted, booty bumpin’ set . At the request of singer/guitarist, Tyler McCauley, the audience rocked out extra hard for the final song. At one point, even breaking a glass, proving the theory that broken shit is always an indication of great times had by all. Always.

You can catch Boyz IV Men this Monday, October 5, at Pirate Cat Radio Café. French Miami will be opening for Le Loup and The Nurses October 27 at Bottom of the Hill. Tempo No Tempo will be on tour throughout the month of October in support of their soon to be released full length, Waking Heat.

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