Have you ever been hog-tied by a microphone cord? The audience at the Hard Rock Café has, thanks to Pinback guitarist/singer Rob Crow as he jumped off the stage and snaked through the crowd mid-set, encircling them like a beer-soaked bull in a china shop—much to fans’ delight.
“Thank you guys for hanging out with us,” Crow said earlier in the approximately two-hour set. “This is our first time playing in Las Vegas,” he added, though he’d been through the city before with a list of other bands on his résumé. For the San Diego indie band, it was sadly another mediocre turnout in Vegas indie-music history—but at least those who attended were obviously Pinback fanatics, cheering with recognition only a few notes into each song and raising their cans of PBR high.
Sharing vocal harmonies with amazing bassist Zach Smith, the band was backed by projections ranging from their logo stick figure in animated form, to a loop of diagrams and quotes such as “Stop wasting time … unless that’s what makes you happy.” Working in new material from their 2012 album Information Retrieved such as “Proceed to Memory,” plus older goodies such as “Fortress” and “Tripoli,” the night concluded with a random blond chick rushing the stage to hug Crow. He appeared more frightened by the unexpected contact and chose to ignore her instead, finishing out the encore with “Glide” and “AFK.” ★★★☆☆