On Monday September 21st, The Fratellis graced us with their performance at our own 9:30 Club. Due to the chronic ineptitude of the D2 Metrobus, I had to miss the opening act, Grizfolk, but they were apparently in perfect line with the Fratellis’ rockin’ vibe that night. The Fratellis originated in Glasglow, Scotland in 2006, and whether you realize it or not, you probably recognize the hit “Chelsea Dagger” off their first album Costello Music (see video). I will admit that going into this concert, I was really only familiar with the songs off Costello Music, though The Fratellis have released three additional albums including the one they were touring, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied. Lead singer and guitarist Jon Fratelli sported an interesting outfit comprised of a plain muscle t-shirt and wide-brimmed cowboy hat that night, and he came ready to perform. The sold-out club went nuts when he opened with “Henrietta”, a rowdy classic off their first album that set the tone for the night. The band then transitioned into some songs off the current album, including “Baby Don’t You Lie to Me!” and “She’s Not Gone Yet But She’s Leaving”. You can certainly tell that their songwriting style has lost a little bit of its reckless post-punk chaos that defined the Fratellis on their first album, but the live renditions of the newer songs revived some of this old energy not heard in the studio recordings. Jon Fratelli’s guitar riffs definitely stole the show as he blasted choppy solos to the cheering of the crowd. He also seemed to win some affection when he boldly made this comment before playing their one slow hit, “Whistle for the Choir”: “I’ve been saying the same thing before this next song all tour, since this song is quite sexual you know. I’ve said that men, if you’re hear with a lady tonight, then you may put your hand on her butt during this next song. But I’ve realized that’s a bit sexist, so tonight I’m going to say this: ladies, if you’re hear with a man tonight, you may put YOUR hand on his butt, trust me, he’ll like it.” And with that he began the melodious guitar intro as the crowd swayed back and forth. As to be expected, they saved “Chelsea Dagger” for the encore, and what an encore it was. Jon didn’t even really sing the chorus because the crowd was screaming it. It was quite the experience to be in the physical presence of the band as they rocked out to a song that I had listened to so many times before through earbuds or in my car with the windows down. Overall, the Fratellis proved themselves to be incredible performers who are still in touch with their unbridled youthful energy and charm.
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