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Live Review: We Are Scientists – The Independent, San Francisco, CA

We Are Scientists lit up The Independent in San Francisco on November 22nd, 2023, with their signature blend of indie rock charisma and witty banter. This was an evening filled with unforgettable moments, delivered by a band that knows how to entertain both musically and comically.

The evening began with “Lucky Just To Be Here,” creating an intimate atmosphere as vocalist Keith Murray took center stage, spotlighted for the initial verses before erupting into a lively chorus. The band then transitioned into “Lousy Reputation,” a hit from their acclaimed album With Love and Squalor, rekindling the fond memories and deep affection fans have held for this band over the years.

The short intervals between songs were as much a part of the show as the music, with Murray and Chris Cain playfully bickering about mundane things, such as mic stand adjustments – be that during their live shows or Murray’s wedding day. This kind of light-hearted rapport captivates their audience with humor. When Cain gave a shoutout to the “Guitar Center fans,” the band jumped into performing “Contact High,” which seamlessly transitioned into the With Love and Squalor classic, “The Great Escape,” featuring an electrifying guitar solo from Murray.

As the evening progressed, We Are Scientists navigated through their extensive discography. From the anthemic “Buckle,” from Helter Seltzer, to “Operator Error” from their latest album Lobes, each song was a reminder of their dynamic range and evolving sound over the past decade.

The band’s energy was infectious, especially during performances of Barbara‘s single “Rules Don’t Stop Me” and new track “Settled Accounts,” from Lobes, which had the front of the crowd dancing along enthusiastically.

Watch We Are Scientists’ “Settled Accounts” official Visualizer below

Humor was never far away from the duo, as displayed by Cain’s amusing analogy about messing up a song transition, comparing it to landing a plane, before revisiting the final bars of the previous song much to the crowd’s delight. The retake delivered the “5% excitement” that the band joked about, as Cain transitioned into With Love and Squalor track “It’s a Hit” with a funky bass-line introduction.

Adding a personal touch to the night, a story was shared by a fan about a past house party performance in San Francisco that the group had, before dropping into a lively rendition of “I Cut My Own Hair.” We Are Scientists‘ performance of “Chick Lit,” from Brain Thrust Mastery, started with high energy, transitioned into a seated jam session and a drum solo from Keith Carne, and concluded with an anthemic release.

As the night neared its end, the band played crowd favorites like “Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt” and “After Hours,” which resonated with the audience, especially with its outro of “One final final round cos, time means nothing.”

Returning for an encore, the band played “You’ve Lost Your Shit,” from Huffy, and “This Scene Is Dead,” from With Love and Squalor, keeping the crowd awake and energized “well past their bedtimes,” as the band joked once more.

Closing the night with “Less From You” from their latest album LobesWe Are Scientists ensured the evening ended on a high note. Their promise to meet fans at the merch table afterward was the cherry on top, a gesture that showed their appreciation for the pre-Thanksgiving audience.

Nearly a decade on, We Are Scientists‘ continue to deliver an experience of stellar musicianship interwoven with genuine connection and humor.

We Are Scientists 2023 Tour Dates

November 24 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy
November 25 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
November 26 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
November 27 – Phoenix, AX @ Valley Bar
November 30 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
December 1 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
December 3 – Austin, TX @ Antone’s Nightclub
December 5 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
December 6 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
December 7 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room
December 8 – Washington DC @ Union Stage
December 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
December 15 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom

For more information on We Are Scientists, order your copy of Lobes, or to see their upcoming tour dates, visit their official website.

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