The opening band, Wild Light, wasn't bad, but they weren't anything that special either. The highlight for us was a song intro: "This song is about a motherfucker I once knew called Cally."
LCD Soundsystem was unexpectedly awesome. I vaguely recalled hearing that they were a great live band to see, and now I'm certain that if I heard it, it was true. The sound was crisp, and the beats got the audience dancing. Even though it's a one-man project, on stage it's a five-man party (four-man/one-woman, to be exact). They all had so much energy. The highlight for me, of course, was an uptempo version of "North American Scum," the only song I knew. The frontman (that is, LCD Soundsystem himself) was a hoot throughout, especially when he displayed his technical prowess on the cowbell. And on his final song, he proved he could actually sing, not just caterwaul and sprechstimme. I was glad they were a "with" band, so they got a full set. I highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance.
Arcade Fire sucked. Wait, strike that, reverse it. Arcade Fire are lauded for their live shows, and now I know why. It's unlike any concert you've ever seen. They fit close to a dozen people onstage, along with an organ. Instruments played include the hurdy-gurdy, accordion, violin, viola, cello, French horn, bassoon, and a megaphone. And I thought LCD Soundsystem were energetic, but holy shit, these guys were off the charts. It was like they were the music, like it was an expression of themselves. My favorites were the violinist in short shorts dancing sexily throughout, the percussionist who was just nuts banging on everything in sight, and the female vocalist in a black dress who was practically half the band, constantly changing positions between songs, singing or playing the keyboard or this percussion or that drum set. They played my four favorite songs out of the seven I knew ("Keep the Car Running," "Intervention," "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," and "Rebellion (Lies)") as well as two others ("Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" and "Wake Up"), so I could hardly ask for more (especially since the one remaining, "In the Backseat," was my least favorite). I've gained a newfound appreciation for the band, however, which often happens after seeing a band live. I also highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance.
By the time I got home, it was one in the morning, so I put off the Avatar premiere until today.
HELLO, AANG'S HAIR.
Overall, a good setup for the season, if not an amazing episode. Things have changed a bit, and we have to spend a bit of time re-orienting. And...dealing with Katara's daddy issues. WHY IS EVERYTHING ABOUT HAKODA SO UNSUBTLE? HE'S LIKE AN ANVIL MAGNET. HE EVEN MADE KATARA LIST EVERY SINGLE EMOTION SHE WAS FEELING. Seriously, if they're conflating Katara's anguish over Aang with her anguish over her dad, and Katara is some sort of mother figure for Aang...this is like the ickiest cartoon OTP on Nickelodeon ever?
I think it's the voice actor for Hakoda. He's very one-note and boring and makes everything he says sound like some deep, profound lesson.
Toph, still awesome: check. I like that the one metalbending move she did is basically the same thing she did when she discovered it, a sort of projected crunch. She hasn't started, like, floating Fire Nation ships or something. I also like that, now that they've established she has superhearing, they haven't forgotten about it. And, really, superhearing is the only way to explain her perfect aim at a catapult on another ship.
The serpent gag was hilarious. "Thank you, the universe!" Oh, Sokka.
MAI KISSED ZUKO WHAT. I thought they would, like, lead up to something like that. I want to know what happened in the past few weeks. Is she just walking up behind him and kissing him randomly, or are they actually secretly dating?
Loved the callback to the duck pond in "Zuko Alone."
Also, while it wasn't as subtle as it was in "The Storm," I'm glad they're continuing with the Aang/Zuko parallels, except I never expected this. "I have to redeem myself. I have to restore my honor." Poor angsty emo Aang!!
We finally see Ozai's face!! And...there's nothing interesting about it. I was hoping he'd have a scar or something. But raise your hand if you ever expected Ozai to actually welcome Zuko home like that. HE ACTUALLY MADE DADDY LOVE HIM.
Except no, no he didn't. Because oh my God. AZULA. IS. TOTALLY. OMG. MOTHERFUCKING. AWESOME.
...and disturbingly hot in her nightwear. Help me, I have a crush on a fourteen-year-old cartoon sociopath. I love that Zuko knows about the spirit water and thus suspects Katara saved Aang. I love that he lied to Azula about it. I love that Azula knows he lied. I love that Azula lied to her dad. I love that my initial reaction was that it was an interestingly nice gesture to do for her brother until I realized she was actually just setting him up to fail. This whole thing is so my favorite part of the episode.
(THAT ROBE IS TOO SEXY FOR NICKELODEON, YOU GUYS. I KEPT EXPECTING HER TO OPEN IT UP AND FLASH ZUKO.)
Hey, look, it's Yue! I would have been more baffled by that if she hadn't appeared in "Escape from the Spirit World." So now Aang has two spirit guides? Roku and Yue? What is Yue's deal? That's still so weird. Also, I think it's kind of awesome that Roku admitted it was so his fault the war even started, since he was the damn Avatar in charge at the time.
NOOO AANG'S GLIDER. I hate when inanimate objects with special meaning are destroyed. I screamed when it burned up and the episode ended because it was over and now we have to wait a whole week for more.
Ooooh yeah, I also love that the whole world thinks the Avatar is dead and Aang can't be all, "Look at meeeeeeeee, I'm the Avatar!!" anymore.
In conclusion, WHERE WAS TY LEE?