Let me be clear, in a plea that you read beyond the headline, Parquet Courts were excellent…their fans however, not so much. Rewind 3 acts to the first of the four band bill. I should start by saying I am not a huge fan of shows with more than 2 or 3 total bands but Flywheel and their all volunteer staff did an awesome job setting up and breaking down in a timely fashion.
First up were local shoegazers Kindling, whose wall of noise was reminiscent of The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa and easier target My Bloody Valentine . While at times timid in presence, Kindling’s sound washed over a sizeable crowd with the slow motion force of a tsunami. Next, Amherst natives Longings, who seemingly took their cues from the transitionary period of punk to post-punk, cut through their set with surgical precision. The three piece, Meghan Minior (bass/vocals), Will Killingsworth (guitar/vocals), and Cole Lanier (drums), tore through a 30 minute set in what felt like 15 mins. Without ever becoming too saccharine, the trio moved in and out of pop punk hooks while maintaining enough of an edge to keep the audience back on their heels and up on their toes.
Up next were the Brooklyn based Pill, who were part performance art, part post-punk. The four piece can best be described as Lydia Lunch meets James Chance at an 80’s arcade while listening to John Zorn on a transistor radio. Fronted by Veronica Torres, who just two bars into the first track decided to join us on the floor, sometimes standing, sometimes kneeling, to belt out a spoken word style, Kim Gordon inspired, breathy tune of absolution, or so it seemed. After the first song, Torres hopped on stage and slung a cherry red Fender Precision bass around her neck and led the tribe in a new sonic direction. Pill’s lo-fi and avante-garde approach felt refreshing rather than contrived. Guitarist and singer Jon Campolo played everything from what appeared to be a ¾ sized guitar to a toy guitar while Ben Jaffe did his best Pharroh Sanders impersonation. Somehow it all made sense and I give them all the credit in the world for pulling it off.
Finally, the long evening was reaching it’s fever pitch, quite literally as the bros began to file in invisibly behind me. Blissfully unaware of the drunken frat presence at an otherwise dry show, I watched as the members of Parquet Courts set up, strung guitars, and stretched brand new bass strings. After some humorous stage banter between bassist Sean Yeaton and guitarist Austin Brown to allow for Andrew Savage to finish stringing his guitar, the “quarts” launched into the first track off of their Pitchfork panned (4.9) Monastic Living EP entitled “No No No!” followed by the eponymous “Monastic Living”. Little did I know that it was this offbeat avant-noise jam that had kept the bros at bay. It wasn’t until the band launched into their third song “Insufferable” did things become…well…insufferable. The bros decided to “mosh”, which in their eyes meant shoving everyone in front of them forward, resulting in the few of us watching, listening, and enjoying the show to end up literally on the stage. At one point I was thrust so violently into the monitor wedge in front of me on stage, that as a result Sean Yeaton’s effect pedals were left unusable on top of a good 6 inches of carpet that had gathered up on top of itself. I tried to reason with the inebriated bros who clearly didn’t know the definition of a “pit” as being something that happened in the middle of the floor and in a circular fashion, but it was no use. I will not bore you with the details that almost resulted in fistacuffs since I pride myself on being a pacifist, in general. But needless to say, the limited photos included with this post can be attributed directly to the small minded, inconsiderate, drunk bros who thought it funny to violently bash into me and more pathetically, the woman next to me, who was a very good sport through the entire affair. For shame douchebag bros, for shame.
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No No No
Monastic Living I.
Black & White
Always Back In Town
Everyday It Starts
Master of My Craft / Borrowed Time
What Color Is Blood
Yonder Is Closer To The Heart
Light Up Gold II