Not the home of The Bravery

New York synth-rockers get in and get out

CHARMED, I’M SURE<br>The Bravery frontman Sam Endicott belts it out in front of a meager crowd at the BMU Auditorium.

The Bravery frontman Sam Endicott belts it out in front of a meager crowd at the BMU Auditorium.

Photo By Meredith J. Cooper

Review: The Bravery and Brilliant Red Lights at the BMU Auditorium, Sat., Sept. 15.

The Bravery exited the stage at its recent Chico performance to a sparse mixture of “woos” and “boos.” Perhaps it was because the meager crowd felt cheated, as the band played what felt like an abbreviated set.

One thing’s for sure: 15 bucks just doesn’t buy what it used to.

After charging upwards of $18 a ticket at the door ($15 for students), The Bravery played a 40-minute set before marching off stage (openers Brilliant Red Lights played for the same amount of time), pausing just long enough for the lights to dim before returning for a two-song encore. It seems that a local band or two could have easily been added to the bill to give the kids a little more bang for their buck.

For their short work, the boys of The Bravery received one of the largest sums for an AS Presents show this semester (Ziggy Marley received more, but also played for more than two hours). AS publicity coordinator Kayte Olsufka confirmed that the band also requested an additional $500 worth of food, almost none of which the members ate (save for the Hershey’s Kisses). She said the cost is standard for bands, and that it’s included in the AS Presents budget. OK. But to me, $100 of munchies per band member is a bit excessive—seems like the money would be better spent elsewhere … say for more advertising?

The Bravery’s blasé attitude toward the show might be attributed in part to a disappointing turnout. The BMU Auditorium was less than a quarter full at the peak of the performance, making it the least-sweaty rock concert I’ve attended in a very long time. When a band with the name-recognition of The Bravery comes to Chico, one might expect a gaggle of hootin’ and groovin’ fans.

Weak publicity could be partly to blame for the weak turnout. Posters announcing the performance were scarce on the Chico State campus. Information on the show was slow to get out, and trying to find details on the AS Web site took some serious navigation.

AS Presents staffers attributed the low turnout to the fact that The Bravery may not be well known, as well as students preferring music venues that allow alcohol.

Despite the meager turnout and quick set, The Bravery delivered a solid performance. Instrumentally the band sounded great, and lead-singer Sam Endicott charmed the audience with his throaty vocals and between-song banter.

There was additional entertainment provided by two dancing men in shark and robot costumes promoting KCSC Radio. Opening pop-punk act Brilliant Red Lights, from San Francisco, called attention to the shark, placing the spotlight on the dancing man and even offering to pay him. The Bravery was less amused with the shark-man, as Endicott dedicated one of their songs to the “giant vagina with teeth.”

The Bravery may not be a household name, but the New York five-piece has enjoyed a certain level of success. The band’s self-titled 2005 debut claimed the No. 18 spot on the U.S. charts, and gained even more success across the pond, staking the No. 5 spot in Britain.

The band’s sophomore album The Sun and Moon was released in May and the single “Time Won’t Let Me Go” has done well, and the band even appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman at the end of July.

While The Bravery continues to produce hit singles and put on smashing live performances, the members might want to be careful not to let “success” go to their heads. Even if the band was irked by the miniscule turnout, the few fans that did show up deserved their money’s worth.