Sunny Day Real Estate Prove Their Influence at the Fonda
By Rita Neyter
Before the guy-liner, shitty angular haircuts or Pete Wentz, Emo had Sunny Day Real Estate, a bunch of ordinary looking guys from Seattle with whatever haircuts, making music that was, well (what else?), emotional. But despite their understated image, the influential group has had enough drama to fuel a mini-series -- or at least a classic episode of VH1's Behind The Music.
Putting their past differences far behind them, Sunny Day Real Estate played to a sold out crowd full of die-hards from their 90's heyday, along with a small batch of newcomers. They performed, mostly, songs from Diary and LP 2 (aka the Pink Album), both recently reissued by Sub-Pop, and pulled only one song, "Guitar & Video Games," from the post-breakup album, How It Feels To Be Something On. The band left The Rising Tide, their last album from 2000, totally untouched, instead treating the fans to a brand new song.
Almost 15 years passed since SDRE first broke up during the making of LP2, with rumors of singer Jeremy Enigk's becoming a born-again Christian as huge factor for the split. Bassist Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith (drums) both went off to join the Foo Fighters; this is the very first time that all the original band members have come together to tour. They're even writing new music.
Starting off the set with the first track from LP2, "Friday," followed by the opening track from Dairy, "Seven," the band wasted no time with frills or pleasantries, and pushed forward through to "Song About An Angel," which finally brought the very still crowd out of their collective catatonia, throwing up some fists into the air and screaming "Woh," a calling, to which Enigk, responded with "Sometimes you see right through me." The band sounded well rehearsed, playing each song the way as they did on record.
Sunny Day Real Estate are an enigmatic group, skipping out on most interviews, not posing for many photos, and using random numbers as song-titles. So it makes perfect sense that the new song played tonight is called "10", a continuation of the "8" and "9" song titles from Diary. It was a good song, but not a great song, not really exploring any new territory but, instead, picking up where they left off. The band likes dynamics -- soft, loud and louder with strained yearning vocals -- which is a great rock formula used in the last two songs, "48" and "Sometimes."