1 Vampire Weekend vs. 4 Nada Surf
A battle of New York Indie was on display tonight–uptown vs. downtown, young upstarts vs. rock veterans. Vampire Weekend sounded tight again (as they have in the first two rounds). In the end, youth won out. Vampire Weekend squeaks through into the next round.
11 Tim Fite (left) vs. 2 Gnarls Barkley
The clock refuses to strike midnight for the Cinderella-story of the tournament, Tim Fite. Unbelievably he pulled off another upset victory tonight! Gnarls Barkley looked confused throughout the match-up. In the first half, Danger Mouse arrived on stage in his Wayne’s World get-up, while Cee-Lo and the rest of the band were dressed in bathrobes. During the second half, Danger Mouse seemed more interested in Tim Fite’s set, even asking him if he could produce his next album. A bit irritated, Cee-Lo began performing Goodie Mob songs, however the band didn’t know how to play any of the instrumentals. Tim Fite takes down the #2-seed in a shocker!
1 Radiohead vs. 5 The Kills
The Kills’ drum machine was no match for Johnny Greenwood’s massive electronic set-up tonight. Seemingly to rub it in, Radiohead played an 8-minute version of “Idioteque”, with Greenwood tweaking knobs and electronics throughout the duration of the song. Radiohead was up by so much in this contest, that Thom Yorke sat out most of the second half to rest his voice.
3 The Hives vs. 2 The Raconteurs
Jack White and Brendan Benson were reminiscent of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen tonight. White was great like Jordan, while Benson filled the ever important supporting role just like Pippen used to do back in the day. It’s called chemistry and The Raconteurs used it tonight for a hard fought victory against the those catchy Hives.
1 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks vs. 4 Hot Chip
It looked like Hot Chip was going to easily breeze past The Jicks, especially when they played material from their most recent album, Made in The Dark. Fittingly they opened with “Ready for the Floor” and when they played “Shake a Fist” the crowd erupted. However, in a move that shocked everyone in attendance, during the middle of The Jicks’ set, Stephen Malkmus brought out the members of Pavement and played the complete Slanted and Enchanted album. Pavement, I mean, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks advance to the Regional Semifinals.
6 Against Me! vs. 2 Band of Horses
Slow and steady, that’s how Band of Horses got it done tonight. They played well against the punk-rock full court press of Against Me!. With seconds remaining in their set, Band of Horses threw up a beautifully performed version of “Marry Song” to seal the victory.
9 Saul Williams vs. 4 Justice
In a move that surprised everyone (almost as if to challenge himself), Saul Williams performed without this band tonight, deciding to take on the French dance duo, Justice, by himself. As always, Williams’ rhymes were powerful and poignant, but without any music, the crowd tended to favor the feel-good dance numbers of Justice. The only time the crowd danced for Williams more than Justice, was during the commercial break when his song “List of Demands (Reparations)” played over a Nike advertisement.
3 Spoon vs. 7 The Black Keys
Although The Black Keys only have two band members, they sounded like they had eight tonight. That, combined with someone shining a laser beam on Spoon’s Britt Daniels, which flustered the frontman all night long, led to The Black Keys’ victory. When Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney was asked about the laser during the post-game press conference, he commented, “Yes, The Black Keys have been known to use real lasers from time to time, but I had nothing to do with that laser tonight.”