Tinted Windows: Live Last Night

tinted windows

Live Last Night

By Mark Jenkins

Two unusually unironic sounds were heard Wednesday night at the Black Cat: 1970s-style power-pop and the screams of young female fans. Both were the responsibility of Tinted Windows, a group fronted by onetime 'tween idol Taylor Hanson.

Twelve years after "MMMBop,'' Hanson has allied with alt-rock veterans James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) and Adam Schlesinger (Ivy, Fountains of Wayne and so much more). The part-time band is "Dead Serious,'' to invoke one song title, about the sort of punchy, catchy rock that is punk's un-evil twin. The group's stylistic range could be calibrated from the two covers that augmented its 55-minute set: the Knack's "Let Me Out'' and Buzzcocks's "I Don't Mind.''

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

Supplemented by second guitarist Josh Lattanzi, the Windows crisply performed all 11 songs from their self-titled debut, plus two outtakes and those covers. Hanson proved surprisingly feeble at stage patter, but did fine when singing such agreeably formulaic tunes as "Take Me Back'' and "Without Love.'' Still, the rudimentary bad-love lyrics showed the limitations of being dead serious. After a half dozen earnest choruses, a little Fountains of Wayne-style wit would have been welcome.

Opening was U.S. Royalty, a local quartet that shares some of the Windows's influences, yet has a fundamentally heavier sound. While the band incorporated girl-group rhythms, folk-rock "ooh-oohs'' and music-hall piano, its broader moments drew mostly from Southern boogie-rock. If the music wasn't singular, the vibrant performance explained the Royalty's accelerating buzz.

By David Malitz |  August 6, 2009; 12:48 PM ET Live Last Night
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That show was power pop perfection.

Posted by: Hemisphire | August 6, 2009 2:31 PM

"Hanson proved surprisingly feeble at stage patter,"

Hahaha, I was making fun of my Hanson fan pal over Taylor's "Everyboy having a good time tonight?" schtick. Thank goodness Adam came up with some quips.

What was up with singing "I Don't Mind" in a higher key?

Posted by: gfriday | August 8, 2009 6:37 PM

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