Les Savy Fav Closes Noise Pop With Panache

Sweaty bald singer Tim Harrington captivates Mezzanine audience

By Josh Keppel
|  Monday, Apr 27, 2009  |  Updated 3:40 PM PDT
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Les Savy Fav Takes Over Mezzanine

Josh Keppel

Tim Harrington, singer of Les Savy Fav, sits on stage for a moment at their Noise Pop show at the Mezzanine in March of 2009.

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I've seen Les Savy Fav four or five times now since first seeing them at the Great American Music Hall in 2003, and each time I see them I have a huge smile plastered on my face as I watch Tim Harrington, the most entertaining front man you've never heard of, traverse the crowd, while this band rocks the party.

Sunday night at the Mezzanine Les Savy Fav, a band from New York City who has been together since 1995, played the closing night show of San Francisco's Noise Pop Festival.

Harrington walked onstage at the start of the set wrapped in toilet paper from the waste up looking like a mummy from Scooby Doo. As the band played their opening song, he slowly broke through his outfit to fully embrace the audience.

Quickly, and repeatedly throughout the night, Harrington brought the show to the kids in the crowd hopping off of the stage and sifting through the audience, still singing the songs and often letting the fans get on the mic as well.

At one point, Harrington climbed the staircase to the balcony and then attempted to slide down the stairs while standing on two stools (which didn't exactly work, but somehow injury was escaped).

A quick glance through Les Savy Fav's Flickr site shows the kinds of antics Harrington is famous for.

Last year, the main stage at Coachella was streamed live online and the only band I was really interested in catching was Les Savy Fav because of the "what's he going to do next" factor of singer Tim Harrington. I was glued to my computer monitor watching as he scaled the lighting grid above the stage that looked like it was 50 or 60 feet in the air, again, returning to earth unscathed.

The music of Les Savy Fav is great indie rock and roll, but I'll be honest, when I listen to the one album of theirs that I have, I think I am mostly enjoying the memories of seeing them live, and the anticipation of seeing them again.

Josh Keppel has been shooting and editing tv news stories since he was 19 years old, and is now trying to save his job by contributing more and more content on the web.

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