Music in Review: Architecture in Helsinki at The Black Cat

DC Local / Featured / Music / Music in Review-LIVE / June 22, 2011

Architecture In Helsinki Live at The Black Cat DCIn a whirlwind performance at the Black Cat last weekend, the Australian indie pop act Architecture in Helskini kept the crowd dancing all night long.

Opening the show was New York-based synth pop act Hooray for Earth. Their name was more upbeat than their music with their sound predominantly consisting of heavy and tribal electro-pop.

They were the dark counterpart to Architecture in Helsinki’s effervescently sunny pop, so it’s easy to see why they fit the bill for this tour.

Although most of their music simply blended together into a soundscape of lo-fi techno, songs like the chaotic “No Love” and drum-filled closer, “True Loves” showed true potential for the band’s future.

After a chill opener courtesy of Hooray for Earth, Architecture in Helsinki took the stage, much to the excitement of the sold out crowd at Black Cat.

The quintet filled up the stage, dressed in everyday clothes — that is, except for ice-blonde lead singer, Kellie Sutherland, who wore an emerald green sequin dress. They kicked off the show with the dreamy and lyrical “Desert Island.”

Amping up the energy, they then played “Hold Music.” Hardly five minutes into the show, the crowd was already fist-pumping and jumping up and down.

This is probably due to the fact that AiH produces infectious and dance-worthy pop music. The Australian-based group is always in constant motion on stage as well. Lead singers Sutherland and Cameron Bird don’t so much sing as cheer on the crowd to keep on dancing.

Never was their music more reminiscent of the ‘80s pop than when the quintet performed “That Beep,” complete with synchronized choreography that the crowd went wild for.

Architecture In Helsinki Live at The Black Cat DCIn keeping with encouraging the crowd, Sutherland reached out and grabbed a fan’s baseball cap for the majority of the song “Like It Or Not” — the band even substituted in the words ‘Washington D.C.’ into the lyrics, egging the crowd on to cheer wildly.

They then played “Escapee” which was a favorite of the audience, as evidenced by the raucous applause it inspired.

“I can safely say we’re all having a good time — thank you!” yelled Sutherland halfway through the show. After a few more blast-worthy pop tunes, Helsinki slowed everything down for just a moment with the ballad “Souvenirs” which was prefaced as a “really old tune, but we really like it.”

Sutherland sang the nostalgic tune — from their debut album “Fingers Crossed” — in her high girlish coo, calming the crowd down for just a moment.

Architecture In Helsinki Live at The Black Cat DC“We’re all very happy you’re here — let’s just do this,” Bird said as the group sang their closing song, but of course the crowd wasn’t ready to relinquish AiH just yet.

After nonstop chanting for an encore, the band returned to sing, “Yr Go To” and a Londonbeat cover “I’ve Been Thinking About You” — and to everyone’s delight, they even slipped in some more synchronized dancing.

Ending the show was the synth-laden and incredible “Contact High.” Considering the way AiH and the audience were feeding off one another, there couldn’t have been a more appropriate song to wrap up the frenzied show.


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Yohana Desta
Yohana Desta
Yohana Desta is currently obsessed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, everything Dave Grohl does, and listening to Arctic Monkeys on repeat.




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