Armor For Sleep frontman Ben Jorgenson is the perfect archetype of the irresistible rock pixie. He’s got incessantly unthreatening and huggable tiny-ness, impeccable style, and a gleaming smile that makes girls giddily shutter and swoon and boys pale with jealousy. The ubiquitous recognition of this is clear as Jorgenson leads Armor for Sleep onto the stage at San Francisco’s Warfield tonight and the crowd erupts with shrieking excitement.
In return, the gleeful audience receives an energetic dose of “The Truth About Heaven,” a track from the concept album What To Do When Your Dead throughout which Jorgenson pours his heart out to a love long lost. AFS have clearly realized that this album—though their first of three—is a favorite for fans; they play titles from What To Do… during their nine song set.
The impish leader speaks to the crowd with gratitude, addresses the longtime SF fans, and essentially plays the crowd for all he can before introducing “Smile For The Camera,” stating proudly, “This is the first song on our new album.” The dedicated fan base sings along like they’ve heard the track a hundred times, though Smile For Them—the band’s Sire Records major label debut—isn’t yet released.
Also from Smile For Them, the boys unleash “Hold The Door,” which is already receiving positive bloggery, and “Williamsburg,” for which a video was recently wrapped.
While Jorgenson captivates, the rest of the band doesn’t throw a whole lot of physical energy into their performance tonight. If there is a downfall tonight, that is it. But not all bands jump and strut. If the music wholly envelopes the audience, that can be satisfying unto itself. Thus, performing so much material from What To Do…is the saving grace; virtually every track on the album is a sing-along, and that fact successfully carries tonight’s gig right up to the closer, “Car Underwater.”
Smile For Them will be available October 25, 2007
Photos: Miguel Arias