Thank You Scientist @ Bar Le Ritz – 7th June 2019

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Summer is almost here and behind it comes the avalanche of concerts and festivals all over the city. My first for the season was that of the American band Thank You Scientist at Bar Le Ritz, with the great Bent Knee as openers. 

Leading to the concert were two amazing single releases by both bands, “Swarm” by TYS and “Catch Light” by Bent Knee, serving as an appetizer to what was a great intimate and intense show.

The bar proved to be the perfect setting for both bands, bringing about a sort of equalness and close interactions between the bands and the crowd. Looking and listening to them so closely made it more memorable and almost as having a private concert.

Unfortunately and sadly for me, due to several street closings, detours and traffic, I was not able to make it on time for Bent Knee, I just got to listen to their last song but I did get to hang out a bit with two members of the band who were tending the merch table.  

Thank You Scientist took a while to properly set up given the variety of instruments (saxophone, trumpet, violin, guitar, bass and drums), pedals and stage props.

The wait was over and they opened with the first song “Wrinkle” from their upcoming album. From their whole set I only recognized about four songs, all others sounded brand new and familiar, but still refreshing specially witnessing the dialogue and rapport that they had with the crowd, making the experience much better than listening to those songs from an album, and making it very clear that in this case and for this band, context means a lot and live is the way to fully be submerged in what TYS is, even if you don’t understand what is happening.

In all honesty, I don’t (and stopped trying) to understand and figure our Thank You Scientist, but I definitely enjoy the music and their weirdness. 

There is a lot happening, between the inside jokes, the sarcasm, the hardcore fans, the pictures of their dog Maxwell and the alt/hipster/experimental/orchestral/meme prog nature of their music, it turns out there is a lot to digest but not necessarily to dig their unique and exciting music.

Ever since I heard them for the first time, it has surprised me how much versatility and uniqueness I am able to enjoy in their albums. Their latest, Terraformer (out on June 14th), from the singles they have released so far, seems like it will keep on pushing the limits of our expectations and remind us that they as a band can only be fully experienced live. 

If you want a taste of Thank you Scientist, just check out their solar-powered video featuring a 120-person drumline for the single “FXMLDR” 

  • Setlist
  • Wrinkle
  • Swarm
  • Feed the Horses
  • The Life of Vermin
  • Concrete Swan Dive
  • Geronimo
  • Poop Magician (Shamisen instrumental)
  • Chromology
  • Anchor
  • Mr. Invisible
  • Terraformer
  • Encore:
  • My Famed Disappearing Act
  • Encore 2:
  • The Amateur Arsonist’s Handbook

Review – Ricardo D. Flores

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