Gomez, La Zona Rosa

Friday Night


La Zona Rosa

At 7pm on Friday it's time to choose sides: the pop-groove lovefest of Gomez or the musically correct hairy-rock history of Patti Smith. We've waxed this week, so we go for Gomez. In true British fashion, the class system is clear on the streets: The cash line wraps around La Zona Rosa's east wall, the wristband line shoots off in the opposite direction, and the far shorter badge line runs arrogantly out into the middle of the street. Quickly, badges file into the club between the hissing mob, but before a class war breaks out, the club fills, and the boys amble out onstage. Two lights criss cross like diffused lasers, and the band breaks instantly and heavily into The Groove. Flummoxing this, because the band sounds so American and yet still so obviously British. Lead singer Ben Ottewell, whose voice is almost aggressive in its American accent, launches into a Tom Waitsian growl that portends a show that transcends both of their albums. The boys alternate instruments, lead vocals, and songs from Bring It On and Liquid Skin, yet they never show off, nor dull the crowd with their prowess. Mid-set, the single longhair in the band chastises the crowd. "At this point, we should all stop fucking around," he proclaims. "If you don't want to be here, there's plenty of people outside who do, so let's see some movement." With a voice that's sexy as hell, he had a point. The twitchy guitar player, meanwhile, stroked the sexy, groovy pot-drenched stink in the air, the crowd bobbing and weaving, hands clapping, and generally feeling wonderful. Thank you, boys, for never subverting the song for the groove, not soloing, and dramatically making a spectacle of hand claps. Though some pissy local writer-boys, hiding on the fringes of the sweaty mob, may claim they were bored, the bottom line, is, as always, they want the haircuts and fear the androgyny. Long live boys like the Gomez, who sing lines like, "Easy way with the fairies, easy way with me." Cheers, Gomez.

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