Blonde Redhead returned to their home turf for a sold out show at Terminal 5, one of New York’s newest venues, and with a capacity of 3000, a larger one for indie bands.

They opened with “Heroine”, with the set drawing heavily from their seventh (and most accessible) album, 23, which continued their transformation from a raw and edgier sound to a more melancholic and atmospheric one. Songs included “SW”, “The Dress”, “Dr. Strangeluv”, “In Particular”, “Equus” and an amazingly sexy non-album track called “Harry and I”. The trio (Kazu Makino and twin brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace) maintained the lush, layered sound of their newer songs by using a fair amount of pre-recorded tracks and backing vocals.

Kazu in a chartreuse blur

Blonde Redhead’s dynamic chemistry was evident throughout their set, but there wasn’t much banter or addressing the audience as they concentrated on their performance. Kazu showed off some cool dance moves (even when playing guitar and keyboards!) Overall, the sound at Terminal 5 wasn’t bad, though at times Kazu’s vocals were difficult to hear, prompting someone in the crowd to keep screaming “louder, louder.” The audience was quite reserved for the most part, with fans intently studying the band or just bobbing along to the music.

As the biggest surprise of the night, fans were delighted when Interpol’s Paul Banks joined the band on guitar on the song “23”, which ended the nearly hour-long main set. Kazu joked, “I don’t know who that was. Oh, it’s Paul.” (Blonde Redhead supported Interpol on their European tour last fall.)

Amedeo aglow

Blonde Redhead finished off the night with a three-song encore that included “10”, going as far back as 1998’s In An Expression of The Inexpressible. (Kazu dedicated the song to someone in the audience who was having a birthday).

Not to forget, The Raveonettes were also on the bill, and the opening band, Brooklyn quartet School of Seven Bells, also featured twins!

The Raveonettes’ statuesque Sharin Foo smiles on

The Raveonettes gave the audience a charming set of melodic tunes that at once recall The Ronettes and The Jesus and Mary Chain, with lots of chiming, swirling guitars and reverb.

The duo, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, hail from Denmark but now mainly reside in New York and Los Angeles, respectively.  They were joined onstage by a drummer who stood while playing snare and tom tom.

Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes  

With “Hallucinations” as the opener, all but three songs were from the new album Lust Lust Lust, due out in the US in February (it had a Fall 2007 European release).  Other new songs included “Dead Sound”, “Expelled From Love” and “Lust”.  Older tracks were “My Tornado”, “That Great Love Sound” and “Here Comes Mary”, each from one of the three previous albums.  Their 9-song set ended with the beautifully harmonized “Aly, Walk With Me”.

The band were all dressed in black, with Sharin looking glamorous, as always, in a sequined fringed dress (another throwback, this one to the 1920′s) and living up to her previous [media] designation as “one of rock’s hottest women”.

Of course, it’s impossible to tell how many people in the audience were there for The Raveonettes as opposed to headliners Blonde Redhead, but the sold-out crowd showed much appreciation for The Raveonettes, who will be headlining their own tour soon (and will be back in New York at the Bowery Ballroom on March 26).–Teresa Sampson/photos by Tear-n Tan