Shiny Toy Guns didn’t get onstage at Velvet Jones last Sunday night until after midnight, causing more than a few audience members to get a little feisty. For many, the band’s tardiness was a show killer. But for others, the L.A.-based electro rockers delivered a show well worth the time spent waiting for it.
With fog filling the stage, the band emerged with strobes flashing to the music and lighting the foursome into eerie silhouettes. A single big chord sounded from the synths and Gregori Petre’s guitar made itself known with a heavy note, cuing the start of a space-age sonic intro that set the stage for this emerging alt-rock-meets-electronica outfit.
Velvet Jones was one of the first stops on Shiny Toy Guns’ current tour in support of Season of Poison, the band’s second album. And in the course of the night they made their way though about half of the album, including their most recent charting single, “Ricochet!”
This is also new vocalist Sisely Treasure’s first tour with the band since replacing Carah Charnow back in August. Treasure is known for her short-lived stint on TV’s Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious reality show, and the group Cooler Kids, which charted with their house song, “All Around the World” back in 2003.
Treasure has the voice to capture the bratty female vocals that make songs like “Le Disko” and “Ghost Town” what they are, but the necessary attitude to pull them off successfully was barely discernable. That said, by the time the Guns played “Ghost Town” (about halfway through their set), the crowd had ironically thinned to about half, and Treasure seemed to be straining to pump up the tapering audience.
She succeeded to an extent, and there were noticeably more hands raised and heads bouncing by the time the band offered up “Ricochet!” However, there was no moshing or full on dancing to be seen; a shame for a band who’s 2006 album, We Are Pilots, was nominated for a Grammy for best Electronic/Dance Album.
The band skipped the encore theatrics, playing straight through their set as if they knew the tired and tattered audience might not ask them back. A few members of the crowd even took advantage of the extra space during Pilot‘s hit, “You Are the One,” to get down and dance along.
In the end, the enthusiasts were denied a second round of songs and the house lights revealed a less-than-stellar turnout, but the tunes themselves still managed to deliver. Sadly, there just weren’t enough night owls out to appreciate it.