The Raveonettes, Store Vega (Dec 2011)

**** (4 stars out of 6)

Indie darlings the Raveonettes gave an unstoppable, unforgettable show at Store Vega on Saturday in a performance that saw the enigmatic Danish shoegazing duo cement their well-established reputation as one of the best local acts on the current scene.

With the memories of a decent Roskilde Festival performance still lingering in the minds of many present at Saturday’s show, and the rising success of their latest album Raven In The Grave, the New York City based Raveonettes had plenty to live up to on the night.

Sharin Foo and Sune Wagner straddled the fine line between the more sentimental sound of their Everly-brothers inspired lyricism and the wittier, more-upbeat dimension of their music with a sophisticated sense of perfection that was as spellbinding as it was entertaining.

The show was anything but a bombastic, stadium-filing affair, but rather a more intimate, well-woven two hours of dreamy adventures into the surreal and spacey sounds of alternative rock, delicately capped with a personal touch from the group’s distinguishable sound.

The switch between the captivating, nomadic sounds of the band – epitomised by the likes of ‘War in Heaven’ and more abstracted numbers such as ‘Apparitions’ – was typical of the duo’s eloquent juxtaposition of contrasting influences and styles and gave a refreshing sense of variation to a concert that compelled and mystified all at once.

This creative exchange left one feeling lost and evanesced at times and at others compelled to sway from side to side in collective appreciation with an almost-sold out audience.

And whilst the Raveonettes were on top of their game almost throughout, one may arguably have been left thirsting for a bit more engagement on their part, if for nothing else to break the monotony of the introspective, non-confrontational shoegazing style that dominated the better part of the concert.

This didn’t stop the audience calling them back not once but twice, for a grand finale that ebbed off elegantly with the appropriately placed, well-delivered ‘The Christmas Song’, a tune that summarised all that was good about the night. Ultimately, Saturday’s show will be remembered most for the unique chemistry between Foo and Wagner, stark and palpable at times, and at others consigned to the background by the overpowering drone of upbeat guitar arrangements and colourful cacophonies.

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