Architecture In Helsinki got their electro-groove on at The Fillmore

Aussie quintet Architecture in Helsinki performed a neon-bright, eclectic set on Thursday November 3rd at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco. Touring in support of their fourth full-length release, Moment Bends, the playful indie rockers performed music from their latest ’80′s-inflected, electro-pop record as well as throwback tunes which reflected their twee roots.  AIH has streamlined from a troupe of eight members down to five, and their performance showcased a sharper pop sensibility than previous outings (I last caught the band at the diminuitive Wonder Ballroom in Portland in ’07, a tiny venue that could barely contain AIH’s messy onstage cacophony).

Cameron Bird rockin' the '80s pompadour

AIH’s members were enthusiastic to return to San Francisco, with lead singer Cameron Bird exclaiming, “We’re so f–king happy to be here!” before launching into cowbell-centric jam “Hold Music.” The group “squatted in an abandoned house in the Mission” in 2004 and played two tracks they wrote during their stay in the Bay (“It’s 5!”, “Rendezvous:Portrero Hill”) which were released on 2005′s In Case We Die. Bird switched off vocal duties with Kellie Sutherland, who provided her sweetly whimsical whisper on songs like “Wishbone”.

The performance gave off an ’80′s synth-pop, Lite-Brite vibe on upbeat songs like recent single “Escapee” and classic jam “Do The Whirlwind.” The concert dragged in a few slow moments, but AIH finished strong with a fizzy, sweat-drenched encore featuring “Contact High” and tribal-inflected hit “Heart It Races.”  Dr. Dog does a mean cover of “Heart It Races” that rivals the original, give it a listen if you haven’t already!

Below is the just-released video for their latest single, “W.O.W.”, featuring lead singer Cameron Bird beating depression by cavorting joyfully with a new dolphin friend. Fun fact: the anamatronic dolphin in the video is the same one featured in Flipper!

Click here to see more photos from the show (including one that I snapped with lead singer Bird)!


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