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U.K. alt-pop trio Friendly Fires jolted the sold-out crowd at the Casbah from the dreamy shoe-gaze spell put on by their opening bands. Starting with the infectious disco beat of "Lovesick," vocalist-programmer Ed Macfarlane, guitarist Edd Gibson, and drummer Jack Savidge made it clear that it was time to dance!

Ed Mac remarked, "It's 7 a.m. at home," but his gyrating hips and tenor voice showed no signs of jetlag. Along with Gibson's playful riffs and Savidge's feistiness, Friendly Fires were ablaze.

They were accompanied by touring bassist-percussionist Rob Lee and two horn players. Behind me, people commented on Lee's unusual percussion kit, which produced festive clacky-clangy sounds that were instrumental during drum-heavy faves "Jump in the Pool," "Kiss of Life," and "Paris." The horn section added pep to "Skeleton Boy" and the punchy "Photobooth." The crowd cheered to "On Board," the song heard in the Nintendo Wii Fit commercials. For this one, Savidge got up from his drum kit to share the mic with Gibson.

Their encore was an extended version of "Ex Lover." Ed Mac climbed atop a speaker, his head touching the ceiling, and carried on with his cartoon jig. I'd seen Friendly Fires twice before, and their energy has proven consistent, genuine. They always leave fans wanting more.

Artist: Friendly Fires
Venue: Casbah
Show date: November 20, 2009
Seats: Standing in front, stage left corner by drummer

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