Fin Fang Foom – Durham – Hubbard Hall Lounge, University of New Hampshire, NH – 2002-03-08

Fin Fang Foom
Where: Durham – Hubbard Hall Lounge, University of New Hampshire, NH.

When: 2002-03-08

This was by far the smallest show I have ever been to. Apparently the kids on this campus have no appreciation for fine indie rock. They must have opted for the frats instead, or for the big first-round hockey playoff game on the other side of campus.

The show started about an hour later than it was supposed to because the bands arrived and set up but decided they needed to walk into Durham and get some dinner before they played. So a handful of kids sat around on the floor and on couches, watching “The Simpsons” and “That 80’s Show” until the guys got back. The three guys of Fin Fang Foom started their set a little before 9, playing without a stage and instead having the drum kit and amps on a foot-high riser in the corner. Since the crowd was sparse (with no more than 30 people around), the band asked everyone to cuddle up close to them and make it feel like there were more people. The North Carolina trio ripped through a handful of songs, largely from their most recent effort, Texture, Structure and the Condition of Moods, switching up rhythms at the drop of a hat as leader Edwin Sanchez played bass guitar, flute, keyboards, and sang. Michael Triplett held things together with his chaotic yet controlled drumming, while Michael Glass took care of the assorted guitar noises. What ended up as interesting on record was even more so live, as the odd progressions and song structures translated nicely. There may have only been a few people in attendance, but those few people were happy to bob around and cheer appreciatively for every song.

Then came The Ivory Coast, a lovable little indie pop four-piece from Boston. As with Fin Fang Foom, the band did not play like there were only 30 people in the room. Performing in a college dorm did force the guys to make some changes though. “This is what happens when you play sober,” one of the guys said of a technical problem or two that were blamed on the lack of having beer in the building. The band played much of its sophomore effort, Clouds, as well as an older song or two. Guitarist Drew O’Doherty flailed about wildly, as singer and guitarist Jay Cox hid behind the mop of hair that obscured his face. The rest of the guys remained rather calm, coming together for the occasional jam session. One song required three starts, O’Doherty accidentally unplugged his guitar once or twice by tripping over it, and countless guitar strings were broken, but the guys brushed all the quirks off with laughter and bad jokes. “This is the first time we have ever played in The Granite State,” said O’Doherty, “and we aren’t taking that for granite.”