i can’t get enough, oh-oh

Rooney is the perfect summer band, a fact they proved on August 11, 2010 at Madison, WI’s High Noon Saloon. In a state where winter is by far the longest season, Rooney’s love letters to the California sound best during the few short months where the sun’s warm rays reign supreme.

Led by the indomitable Robert Schwartzman (aka Robert Carmine, aka Jason Schwartzman‘s brother), Rooney is, as one concert-goer put it, a band that is “easy to listen to.” This shouldn’t be taken as an insult; rather, Rooney has figured out the alchemy behind great pop songs. Catchy choruses, nods to the early days of rock & roll, and a healthy dose of glossy shimmer pervade their music and identify their roots and influences.

In addition to their songwriting abilities, Rooney has a fairly well-honed live show. Kicking off the set was fan-favorite “Shakin'”, and tunes from their self-titled debut made up a little more than a third of their set. The lead single off  Eureka, “I Can’t Get Enough” was an excellent introduction to their new material, and for the most part the other new songs proved successful as well. The show had two hiccups, however: “Stars and Stripes” lacks the musical backbone to hold up the hokey lyrics, and drummer Ned Brower’s vocals trend chipmunk-like when taking lead. Overall, though, Rooney is a sure thing for a great show filled with songs that you’ll be humming for days after.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
A glorified slideshow of Rooney’s set.

SET LIST: Shakin’, Stay Away, Calling the World, Holdin’ On, Daisy Duke, Suckceed, I Can’t Get Enough, If It Were Up to Me, The Hunch, Blueside, Stars and Stripes, Sorry Sorry, I Should’ve Been After You
ENCORE: Not In My House, When Did Your Heart Go Missing?

warm house, cold hands

Warm throughout with a cold finish.

Warm House, Cold Hands
01| Telekinesis – Coast of Carolina
02| The Wombats – Let’s Dance to Joy Division
03| Les Savy Fav – Patty Lee
04| Rooney – When Did Your Heart Go Missing?
05| Friendly Fires – Skeleton Boy (Single Version)
06| LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
07| Matt and Kim – Daylight
08| Death Cab for Cutie – Grapvine Fires
09| Little Dragon – Twice
10| Mogwai – Scotland’s Shame

(If paused, track will hold its place as long as you don’t navigate away from the page.)

we work as one, like the jackson 5 and the temptations

Rooney's Robert CarmineThough things got off to a late start, the May 2, 2008 show featuring Rooney, Locksley, and The Bridges at Madison’s The Annex was worth the wait.

Opener The Bridges was an unexpected treat. Hailing from Alabama, the five-member band features drums, guitars, bass, and keys, but is set apart by its three- and four-part female vocal harmonies. The girls’ voices perfectly compliment each other, and the ease and style in which they perform hints at their roots despite there not being anything overtly southern about their music. Be sure to check out the live videos, as the posted album cuts don’t do The Bridges justice.

Following The Bridges were hometown heroes Locksley. Sporting a new bass player, the band was welcomed with enthusiasm by the crowd. The band has continued to grow as a live act, shedding the matching army jackets and synchronized bows of performances past and finally getting a few scratches in their pretty-boy veneer. The boys of Locksley still deliver tight instrumentals and impeccable vocal harmony, but have toed over to rock and roll from pre-fab pop.

Rounding off the evening was the indomitably happy Rooney. Bringing with them California’s good vibrations, Rooney played a mix of songs from both their LPs, as well as a few covers that clearly inform their sound (The Band’s “The Weight” and The Beach Boys’s “California Girls”). Vocalist/guitarist Robert Carmine had little trouble engaging the crowd, bantering with relatability and charisma. Rooney ended their set with the infectious single “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?“, leaving no one in the crowd standing still. Look for a new album from Rooney, to be recorded after the completion of their summer tour.

PARTIAL THE BRIDGES SETLIST: All the Words, Pieces, One I Love, Runaway

PARTIAL LOCKSLEY SETLIST: All of the Time, She Does, Why Can’t I Be You, Into the Sun, Get Off Of My Cloud, Hotel Yorba

PARTIAL ROONEY SETLIST: Blueside, If It Were Up To Me, I’m A Terrible Person, I’m Shakin’, Calling The World, When Did Your Heart Go Missing?, Are You Afraid?, Paralyzed, All In Your Head, The Weight, California Girls


For more photos from the show, be sure to check out our Facebook page.