Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, on the tail end of a monthlong U.S. tour, stopped by New York’s Terminal 5 on October 30th, and played to a surprisingly packed house, given the size of the venue as well as the fact that it was the Saturday of Halloween weekend. While many of the fans – and bartenders – donned rabbit costumes, there wasn’t a sense that anyone was in any hurry to get to a Halloween party, or anywhere else for that matter.
Fairly or not, when one thinks of “Scottish rock,” one naturally thinks of slightly dour music, or at least something on the pensive or melancholy side, thanks to the success of bands like Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Mogwai, Arab Strap, and the Delgados. Frightened Rabbit certainly share certain elements with their countrymen, but are, in general, the most upbeat Scottish band this side of Franz Ferdinand. When I first heard that the band would be playing Terminal 5, I feared that the band would be swallowed by the cavernous space. But the band seemed right at home , their folky songs taking on an anthemic quality in the bigger venue.
As the show reached its end, the crowd was re-energized as Craig Finn from the Hold Steady joined the band for a cover of Elton John/Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” followed by a number of costumed concert goers invited on stage to dance to “The Twist” (not the Chubby Checker song).