The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s show at Black Cat last Friday was gold in more ways than one. The band played their songs “Gold Rush” and “The Golden Age,” slinky vocalist Mette Lindberg sported a gold lamé jacket while singing into her trademark gold microphone, and referred to the band’s energetic horn section as “solid gold.”
Which they most certainly were, as was the entire Danish seven-piece band. Their last visit to DC was in late January, right around the time their second album, Out of Frequency, was released. While that was a fantastic performance, a year of touring with the new material has paid off and every song crackled with energy and moved the packed house to the beat. The band sounded tight but looked relaxed and appeared to be truly enjoying themselves. Lindberg had total command of the crowd, with most folks heeding her (somewhat odd) request to not take cell phone pictures. And they didn’t skimp on the material – the band ripped through 20 songs, which, considering there are only 26 songs on their two albums, meant fans got to hear just about everything.
Opening with “Dollars in the Night,” which was sandwiched between the instrumentals “Gold Rush pt. 1” and “Gold Rush pt. 2” as it is on Out of Frequency, the band exhibited nonstop energy and enthusiasm, and the crowd seemed to get more fired up as the show moved along. Songs like the synth-heavy “Lady Jesus” from their debut record Fruit were almost completely stripped of keyboards and given a harder rocking vibe. Only a little bit of keyboard remained in the rocking “Push the Envelope,” which saw the horn section pitching in to play the synth parts.
While maintaining energy throughout, there were some moments that allowed the crowd to catch their breath. After ripping through “Around the Bend,” a song that was once featured in an iPod commercial and introduced the majority of their American fans to the band, and “Suburban Space Invader,” the band settled down for the melodic, almost psychedelic “Crazy” and “Out of Frequency,” a slower, sad love song until it hits the chorus and revs up in a hurry. The lithe, furiously blonde Lindberg yelled the anguish-ridden lyrics and angrily banged her tambourine. Despite this being the penultimate stop on AGT’s tour, Lindberg seems as if she’s ready to keep on trucking.
Lindberg slyly slipped her shades back on for “Cloak and Dagger,” a love letter to international spies that wouldn’t be out of place in the new Bond film. The horn section took a break from their instruments to do a little choreographed jumping and dancing, and had the crowd bopped along with them. (If there was one complaint about the evening, it’s that the horn section was relegated to a back corner of the stage so that half of the fans couldn’t see them. Their energy and antics are a great asset to the band and it’s a shame some folks missed them.) They closed the regular set with three barn burning dance-bop tunes, “Golden Age” (another song most people learned from a commercial, this one for Heineken), “Heart Attack,” and “Fantasy Friend Forever,” during which they were joined by opening duo Millionyoung.
The band ripped three songs during their encore, “Satellite,” “Hero,” and “Major,” the first single from Out of Frequency. The latter is a perfect example of the kind of crazed musical mash up the band does so well – psychedelic, highly infectious funk with horns and great vocals. Even though they caught on through commercials, they’re getting by on their own raw power now.