Operators at San Jose Rock Shop, 11-1-2013
Mind the light rail, and downtown San Jose is the ideal location for a show. 2/3 local band Operators played their first show at the all-ages Rock Shop last Friday. Getting the audience moving was San Jose’s Momotaro. With nothing to prove, they rocked the venue like it was underground in ’85. A little after 10, Operators sheepishly took the stage.
Within a measure of the first song, the band’s trademark tactics -hypnotic keyboard swells and stop-and-go percussion – lent the preferred platform for an all out dance party that even Mick Jagger would’ve marveled at. This was all a silhouette of the pointed, classic vocals of Dan Boeckner (Dan Boeckner is in a new band everybody!). Although this night he was accompanied by a vocal pedal, of which he humbly bragged is marketed towards 12 year old girls, creating a chord-like structure to his voice. A young veteran of the industry, Dan has an ingenious style of writing perfect pop songs, ones that I find myself singing along to by the second chorus. With tons of friends and family filling the dark, pocket of a venue, the girl in the band seemed to conduct the show. If she was nervous, she sure did a good job hiding it. Her ability to play keys, cue parts, sing spot on harmony, was incredible. All while holding the band together like they were on a reunion tour.
One of the best parts of the show were the live drums. Few are more reliable for this role than Divine Fits’ Sam Brown. Flying in for the show and a day or two of after partying, Sam rocked a beat so memorizing that even I took my eyes off of Dan for a few seconds. The only thing I saw break his concentration were the usual shouts of “I love you Sam” from the audience in between songs. The set was short, seven or eight songs. I’m assuming that as soon as they write more, they will play more. With this prolific trio, I don’t think we will have to wait too long.