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Live Review and Photos: The Go! Team, April 19, 2011, Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA



Sometimes, I don’t realize what the live music experience means to people. Take Tuesday night at The Go! Team. As I stood in the photo pit, awaiting the 6-piece UK band to take the stage, I saw someone I worked with in another lifetime. He explained to me that he had been waiting to see the band since he got into them in 2005. Another attendee on the rail explained to me how great their setlist has been for this tour and how he couldn’t believe he made it to the front. Yeah, The Go! Team have big-time fans. But, what the band demonstrated during their set at the Echoplex, was that they have them for a reason. They deserve them.

Opening the show were two acts that fit squarely in The Go! Team’s genre — Juiceboxxx and Hot Tub. The former, a white rapper who spent as much time in the crowd and climbing to the rafters as he spent on stage, and the latter, a tri-female-fronted electro-dance troupe that oozed sexuality, were both of the love ’em or hate ’em variety. And though I can’t honestly say either appealed to me, the people who were into it sure seemed to have fun. For me, they drew the line as to why The Go! Team is so successful, being that they combine their joyous playfulness with tasteful backing, never going too far over-the-top. Both the openers might have something to learn from this, but they certainly have the entertainment part of their performance down.

Now, when I first got into The Go! Team, I knew them as the bedroom project of Ian Parton. Watching their 2011 set, I couldn’t tell which member Parton even was. Primary singer Ninja is very much the focus of the group, now, and an able bandleader at that. Ninja smiles frequently and introduces songs with a distinct British accent, both adding to her charm. But most charming is her actual performance ability. Ninja would leap in the air with enthusiasm, lead the crowd in well-received sing-alongs, and show cheerleader-like dancing abilities. When other band members Chi Fukami Taylor and Kaori Tsuchida got their turn in the spotlight, they also handled their vocals with distinction.

As their super-fan noted, The Go! Team’s setlist was a crowd-pleaser. The band leaned on their newest material, hammering home amped-up versions of “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.” and “Voice Yr Choice,” while managing to weave in personal favorites from their debut, like “Ladyflash” and “The Power Is On.” It was nothing but impressive how the older material transferred so smoothly to a large band setup, which at times included two full drum sets. On “Ladyflash,” none of the subtleties of the songs many weaving elements were lost, and some of the favorite quirks were not only included, but were emphasized (you know, like that flute-sounding lead towards the end). By the conclusion of their lengthy set, The Go! Team caused even this skeptical writer to question their recent hints that the project might be coming to an end. Surely, there are more ideas in Parton’s head to continue on this let-the-good-times-roll avenue. And even if they are having trouble pushing their creativity on record, their place as a live force, as well as their place in their devoted fans heart, cannot be questioned.

Setlist:

T.O.R.N.A.D.O.
Grip Like A Vice
Huddle Formation
Voice Yr Choice
Secretary Song
Ladyflash
Running Range
Ready To Go Steady
Yosemite Theme
Flashlight Fight
Buy Nothing Day
Bottle Rocket
The Power Is On
Back Like 8 Track

Junior Kickstart
Apollo Throwdown
Keys To The City


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