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Theft at The Viper Room

January 19, 2010

Photo Credit: Devon Collins

The bathroom at The Viper Room in Hollywood is exactly what you’d expect: it smells like piss, it’s covered in stickers from bands that never “made it,” and it seems like every third guy is walking in with a girl (and vice versa) just hoping that there’s nobody in the stall. Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, baby. By the time I made it into the restroom, I was going to explode, so none of that mattered. I had been stopped at every red light on Sunset trying to get to this place — immediately after drinking three large cups of coffee — so I was in no frame of mind to care.

I had made the trek down to Viper Room last Wednesday to see a new band called Theft. My friend Daley Hake was slated to play his first gig on bass with them (well, his first gig on bass ever, really), and I had met their main man Matt McCartie at a previous Viper Room gig (sans Daley) a month or so ago. The first time I saw them perform, they were solid. The songs were well rehearsed, tight and energetic, but you could tell that they were fresh from the studio and still trying to get completely comfortable playing them in front of a crowd.

This time around, however, they were as comfortable as old drinking buddies. They exploded onto the stage with the title track from their new EP, Breathing Underwater. Theft’s epic, Brit-rock-esque sound is easily infectious: they had successfully taken the crowd to a new level by the time they hit the first loud, sweeping chorus. Playing through their EP, melting faces with great guitar tone and strong hooks, they closed out the show with “Fireworks Explode” — the driving theme song to season one of MTV’s It’s On With Alexa Chung.

Continually thanking the crowd for supporting “this thing called Theft,” Mr. McCartie’s genuineness and personality made the songs even more relatable. In a place as well known as The Viper Room — where time has made even the bathrooms predictable — it’s safe to say that Theft knows how to make music that can move people, no matter the surroundings.

Go ahead and pick up their new EP on iTunes, and please, check them out on Twitter and MySpace.


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