Pinback delights fans at annual Bimbo's show

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The dynamic duo of Rob Crow and Zach Smith.
PHOTO BY HALEY ZAREMBA

The audience at Pinback’s sold-out show this Saturday night filled Bimbo’s with a pleasant air of mellow enthusiasm. The eclectic (albeit extremely white) crowd was excited without being obnoxious, and its quiet, genuine appreciation was the perfect match for Pinback’s own casual expertise.

Those coming for theatrics and bombast were most likely disappointed, but anyone looking for a laid-back display of musicianship and no-frills indie rock certainly got what they came for, and then some.

The duo at the core of Pinback, Rob Crow and Zach Smith, has been making music together for 15 years, and its seasoned comfort shines through an unassuming yet commanding stage presence. The pair plowed through a 23-song set, only pausing to briefly address the audience exactly one time each.

Smith maintained somber focus throughout the concert while his fingers glided across his bass guitar, slinging slick fingerpicking with stunning ease. Crow, who has a well-used beer holder affixed to his mic stand, threw back a great number of Newcastles during the set, often emptying an entire bottle in one incredible pull, and using half-full bottles to tap at the strings of his Les Paul.

The first half of the setlist was composed of soft, pretty ballads and down-tempo cuts off the band’s new album. Smith’s falsetto and Crow’s nasal croon blend into a honeyed harmony that hasn’t tarnished a bit over the years. Their most recent single, “True North” was executed beautifully, accompanied by two cellists.

The duo surprisingly sandwiched its two longtime fan-favorites, “Penelope” and “Fortress” into the middle of the set. “Penelope” was considerably sped up from its original tempo, giving new life to the love song that the fans have all listened to a thousand times to help ease the pain of every crush and breakup.

For “Fortress,” the Pinback song that everyone knows without knowing they know it, Crow did away with his mic stand and guitar and busted out some dance moves, including an remarkably successful worm, despite his prodigious beer belly.

The audience, thrilled with the band’s surge in energy, roared as Crow jumped off the stage and into the crowd, letting excited fans sing the chorus —“Stop, it’s too late!/ I’m feeling frustrated!” — into the microphone.

Post-“Fortress,” the setlist continued to steadily build energy as Pinback jammed its way through a more rock’n’roll repertoire, transforming the formerly stoic audience into an amiable dance party. At the end of the night, when soft-spoken Crow called out, “Thank you guys so fucking much!” there was no question that he really meant it.

 

Comments

I hope the next hip-hop show you attend isn't too "extremely black" for you. Dork.

Posted by Chromefields on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

The well-behaved (despite being mostly black) audience.

The powerful (despite being mostly gay) basketball team.

The calm (despite being mostly female) protestors.

Fun with stereotypes.

Posted by anon on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

write that? Seriously? Without thinking?

When would it ever be appropriate to make disparaging remarks about an audience based on their perceived ethnicity?

If I wrote about the "enthusiastic (but extremely black) crowd", would that be OK too.

Shame on you, and your brand of racism.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

I'm SO glad the author chose report on the racial demographics of the audience. Had I know the audience would be "extremely white" rather than "entirely white" I wouldn't have wasted my money on tickets. Why should I pay for a concert if there's even a chance anything other than white being in the audience? Thank you Haley for ensuring that the races stay separate the way God and W.A.S.P. Jesus intended.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

class with some stereotypical quality. You know, white people are boring, blacks are criminals, asians work hard, gays are effeminate.

"The crowd was really eclectic and interesting considering how white they were". Perfect.

"The crowd was remarkably free from illegal behavior considering they were all young black males". No different.

Posted by anon on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

White people ARE pretty eclectic when you think all blacks, asians, and mexicans look the same.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

despite her qualification that the white people were "eclectic".

But not as "eclectic" as not being white, I guess.

Posted by anon on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

isn't any real reason to be doing so, you will come off as a racist.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

there isn't any reason to be doing so, then Haley IS a racist.

She figured that she'd get away with it if the race she stereotyped was white, of course. And - didn't you know this? - she of course is white.

Self-hating racists are the worst.

Posted by anon on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

I saw the video and I must admit that it is really interesting like you said! At least that is my personal opinion!

Posted by Victor on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 2:01 am