The Theater of the Living Arts looks good. After undergoing semi-renovations with new wall décor and a just completed 21 and older section, the venue looks a bit more polished, while still maintaining its defining indie flair.
The same, however, can’t be said of the French Kicks, a post-punk aggressive band who performed at the Theater of the Living Arts on Sunday night.
Unlike the TLA, The French Kicks definitely have some polishing to do for their live performances.
The French Kicks’ latest CD, The Trial of the Century, is a good buy. The Trial of the Century is laid back listen, and is good to relax to at the end of the day. Despite a quality CD, the group doesn’t have such a great stage show. If you are a 16-year-old girl into indie music who wants to dance, the French Kicks are a great band to see. If you are looking for a solid, energized performance, they might not be the best pick.
The French Kicks are a talented group, there’s no doubt about that. But the lack of a lead singer with a magnetic personality made for a show that wasn’t completely satisfying. The French Kicks have two guitarists and vocalists, Matt Stinchcomb and Josh Wise, and perhaps neither of them wants to outshine the other. A kind gesture, but playing nice doesn’t make for a good stage presentation. One of these guitarists needs to step it up and engage the audience.
The show should have had introductions of at least a few songs, or at least mentions of titles. Even if neither of the lead vocalists and guitarists wants to talk, they should do something out of the ordinary. Sure, Stinchcomb was wearing a suit jacket with jeans, but he made a lot of “safe choices.” He didn’t move around the stage or come anywhere near dancing. Wise has more of a natural presence, but he also did little to get the audience engaged.
It would be great if the French Kicks worked on their delivery, since they have some great material to present. The French Kicks are on tour to promote their upcoming CD, Two Thousand, set for release this summer. The CD should be great, but from what was seen at the TLA, this greatness doesn’t translate to the stage.
Lauren Hard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.