Desaparecidos - The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 9 Feb 2013
Solid performance from Conor Oberst's post-hardcore band, despite bad sound
Desaparecidos are arguably most famous for featuring fellow Nebraskan, Conor ‘Bright Eyes’ Oberst in their ranks. After only one album - 2002’s Read Music, Speak Spanish - and a short run of shows, Desaparecidos (Spanish for ‘disappeared ones’) soon lived up to their name, disbanding and absorbing themselves in other projects. All of which left their legend to loom larger with every year of inactivity, before reuniting last year to a cacophony of mid-20s gasps.
As they embark on their long overdue Scottish debut, it’s clear, even from the echoing opening twangs of ‘Greater Omaha’, that this is a little more meaningful that your average nostalgia-fuelled cash cow. The band’s core themes of frustration at the ruling classes, banks and government are perhaps as apt now as they’ve ever been.
All in, it’s a solid, if not exactly mind-blowing performance, and admittedly, the booming main arch turns much of Desaparecidos’ caustic anthems into a murky, distorted soup. But the identifiable choruses of ‘Man and Wife, The Former (Financial Planning)’, ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ and the red raw closer, ‘Hole in One’, cut through enough to enjoy a passionate singalong. Time will tell if the band outlives its own nostalgia, but this is a pretty good start.