Frightened Rabbit, the ten-year-old indie rock band from Glasgow, writes big, melodic songs tackling complex and often uncomfortable topics. They’re touring in support of their outstanding new LP, Painting of a Panic Attack, whose songs explore dark territory, yet are delivered with energy, passion and hooks layered upon hooks.
The show began with “Get Out,” a song from the new album, with the band bathed in an eerie purple glow and strobes accompanying a staccato drum pattern. The riveting effect created an immediate, enthusiastic response from the sold out crowd. The band then charged through a 20 song set of anthemic songs until the final number, “The Loneliness and the Scream”, a song about isolation and the search for love. The stage effects were stripped away as front man Scott Hutchinson played an insistent, swelling riff until finally the full force of the band kicked in with euphoric, chiming guitars and a propulsive thump from the bass and drums. As the last chord of the song faded, the show ended with the band and audience chanting the outro, as if they’d all fought through the loneliness together.
Here are a few videos from my seat:
I discover new bands in so many different ways – but the way Frightened Rabbit came to my attention is one of my favorites. Back in 2010 my daughter was a freshman at UC Berkeley and texted to tell me that there was a band playing a free show on campus that I should check out. So I looked them up, liked what I heard, and found out that they were playing the next night at the House of Blues in San Diego. So I got tickets and my wife and I headed down. The opening bands were Bad Veins and Plants & Animals – two groups that I still follow as well. The show was fantastic and we’ve been Frightened Rabbit fans every since.
Here’s Frabbits single, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”, that was out at the time of that 2010 tour.