REVIEW: The Fratellis dig deep into their songbook at the Fillmore

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The Fratellis

Photos: Gary Chancer

SAN FRANCISCO — Glasgow indie rock trio The Fratellis performed a lively run through of their five-album catalog at The Fillmore Monday, mixing older, well-known hits with the glossier songs on their fifth record, In Your Own Sweet Time, which they released two months prior.

Walking onto the stage to Offenbach’s “Can Can Music” with grins on their faces, Jon, Barry and Mince Fratelli launched right into an enthusiastic rendition of “Henrietta,” off their 2007 debut, Costello Music—the record that put the band on the map.

New track “Star Crossed Losers” followed, with singer-guitarist Jan Fratelli, whose real name is John Lawler, singing about a romance predestined to fail, a la Romeo and JulietPausing only to thank the crowd briefly, the band kept right on going into “Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!” The quick-paced rocker song furthered the intensity, with Lawler singing “I can handle the thought of you despising me, dancing on my grave and baptizing me/ As long as, baby, you don’t lie to me.”

The Fratellis

The Fratellis perform at the Fillmore in San Francisco on April 30, 2018.

The Fratellis’ first foray into America, the Apple iTunes commercial-scoring “Flathead,” briefly slowed the tempo (in most cases it would be doing the opposite, but it’s the Fratellis we’re talking about) and provided a lead-in to “Whistle for the Choir.” Lawler sang a capella until the chorus, when his bandmates joined the fans, who were already singing along. “Sugartown” followed a similar rhythmic momentum, this time incorporating bright, pop-infused keyboards. 

Lawler, who typically is not very talkative onstage, noted that he was trying to preserve his voice.

Costello Music‘s “For The Girl” and “Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night” were sandwiched between new cuts “I’ve Been Blind” and “Told You So.” With hyper-speed delivery, Lawler effortlessly blended over a decade’s worth of the Fratellis’ sound. “Thief” provided another brief respite in pace before “Ole Black ‘n’ Blue Eyes,” which was a chance for drummer Mince Fratelli (Gordon McRory) to shine.

New song “Stand Up Tragedy” and “Too Much Wine” shifted the feel of the show, with the lively mix of power pop and folky singing. 

Following two singalongs, “Baby Fratelli” and “A Heady Tale,” and an encore break, the Fratellis returned to play  “Chelsea Dagger,” the little indie rock hit that would take root as a worldwide sports anthem.

Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes perform at the Fillmore in San Francisco on April 30, 2018.

English alt-rock duo Blood Red Shoes opened the show, playing “Light It Up,” from 2010 album Fire Like This. The duo went on to blast through “Red River” and shoegazy new track “God Complex.” Between songs, Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell joked about losing track of their setlist. Ansell jumped onto his stool and worked himself into a sweat encouraging fans to clap along to “An Animal.”

Follow writer Eli Batrez at Twitter.com/@_elibelly6_.

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