Consisting of Dan Boeckner (late of Wolf Parade) and his wife Alexei Perry, Handsome Furs sound like the soundtrack to that 80's movie that you always wanted to be your life. Synth-happy and dance-crazy, most of their songs are pure distilled joy, and the whole thing is held together by Boeckner's stadium filling voice. On this night, though, he only had to reach back to the bar at the Belly Up, and he was more than equal to the task.
Focusing heavily on last year's fantastic Sound Kapital, the happy couple bounced and kicked and swayed through a too-short eleven song set. Normally drum machines leave me cold in a live setting, being the strict traditionalist I am, but they sounded great here, with Perry's keyboards dancing all over them.
Perhaps even more than the infectiousness of the music, the couple's chemistry really made the performance feel like a celebration: of them; of us; of life. And before you point out how corny that sounds, I'll preemptively agree, but that doesn't make it less true. Boeckner and Perry make rocking out the most romantic thing in the world, and what's not to love about that?
Set List: When I Get Back / Damage / All We Want, Baby, is Everything / Memories of the Future / Bury Me Standing / What About Us / Repatriated / (Older song I didn't know) / Serve the People
Encore: Legal Tender / (Another older song I didn't recognize)
Photo by Monti Smith, courtesy of Indie Rock Reviews