The High Noon Saloon on Madison, Wisconsin’s near east side fashioned itself into an indie-rock haven on August 6th, 2008. Brighton, MA, Oxford Collapse, and We Are Scientists came together for a show that touched on several facets of the near-all-encompassing genre.
Midwest favorites Brighton, MA opened the night with a mix of material from the upcoming release Amateur Lovers and familiar tunes. The new material is impressive and well-crafted, and despite being a departure from earlier efforts it still maintains the band’s lush sound and sophisticated perspective.
Throwing a change-up, the trio known as Oxford Collapse brought oodles of energy and a punk sensibility to the lineup. The band isn’t polished, but that works in favor of their aesthetic. Oxford Collapse’s raucous and unpredictable nature is a refreshing turn. They come across as distinctly live and not a group of people going through a series of rehearsed movements and interactions.
We Are Scientists topped off the night with wit and charm and curiously catchy hits. Their set was nicely paced and balanced with material from old and new releases, and on the whole the songs were more dynamic live than their recorded counterparts. The most impressive thing about the night, though, was how flat-out fantastic We Are Scientists are live. They’ve honed in on the right mix of melody, spunk, showmanship, and relatability to cross over from merely talented to truly worth seeing.