CONCERT REVIEW: Raveonettes @ Union Transfer

Photograph by PETE TROSHAK

Danish duo The Raveonettes brought their reverb-drenched noir-rock to Union Transfer last night, making one of their rare U.S. appearances and appeasing fans who had waited hundreds of years to see them. The band’s music is a study in contrasts, sticky and sweet throwback garage/surf pop on the outside but lurid verging on lewd at the lyrical core with pulp-y thematic obsessions that include sex, drugs and death. Lanky, Tim Burton-coiffed guitarist Sune Rose Wagner alternated between thrashing chords and stinging single-note volleys while icy hot blonde Sharin Foo held down the low end, and an un-named drummer played hard and spectacularly. The Raveonettes kicked off their set with a shimmering “Hallucinations” and worked their way through the highlights of their back catalog while mixing in new cuts from their excellent Observations album. One of the many highlights was the Everly Brother-esque “Young and Cold” – an atypical acoustic prayer that showed off their lush harmonies and displayed their rare capacity to remain loud while playing quietly. The first two thirds of the set was dreamy pop heaven, then the floodgates opened with the arrival of “Attack Of The Ghost Riders,”  the lead-off track from their first album Whip It On, during which the band, particularly Wagner, opened the throttle and unleashed beautiful, vicious rock and kept the pedal to the metal for the remainder of the night. The new song “Sinking With The Sun” held its own along side classics like “Aly, Walk With Me” and “Cops on our Tail.” By the end, both crowd and band were spent and satisfied, and everyone seemed to agree it was all well worth the wait. — PETE TROSHAK