It says something about a band that, even while opening for one of the more deliberately avant-garde acts within the scene like The Sounds of Animals Fighting, Planes Mistaken for Stars manages to stand alone. There isn’t really another band that shares the same sonic arena as the punk/post hardcore veterans. In fury and vulnerability, Planes Mistaken For Stars music is an open wound and a rabid howl cut with a deep and moving softness and on Friday night at the Wiltern, they showed nearly 1800 scene kids just what it means to truly push the bounds of music.

The Sounds of Animals Fighting have been gone for five years, and it showed clearly the palpable excitement of those lining up underneath the Wiltern’s marquee. As patrons jostled each other in anticipation, someone turned to me and asked if I was excited.

“For sure,” I replied, “Planes Mistaken for Stars is one of my favorite bands.”

He smiled, mouth frozen in a rictus of panicked confusion, and blinked at me for a moment.

“The opener–Planes Mistaken for Stars?” I said hopefully.

“Oh the opener is some planes band. I can’t wait for Sounds!” He enthused, finding surer footing before we shuffled inside.

This, seemingly as much as many knew about PMfS as they took the stage in LA. Despite being one of the best and most unique bands around since 1997, they have somehow operated under the radar–a band’s band. Your favorite artist’s favorite artist. A band as equally at home opening for Converge as The Sound of Animals Fighting. This has led to their revered status among the most discerning circles, but at teh sacrifice of their wide appeal and longevity–the band only recently reunited after a long hiatus following their stellar album Mercy to release Prey via Deathwish.

I had missed the first two songs getting in, but I made it and was treated to everything i have wanted since hearing of the band’s reunion. PMfS roared through their set, Gared O’Donnels trademark feral rasp sounding like a gin bottle being scraped against concrete while the rest of the band pounded and barked behind him. They were a force on stage, but illicited a lot of confusion from the audience who were expecting something more akin to the Circa Survive/Chiodos/Rx Bandits amalgamation that Sounds of Animals were to put on after.

On the other hand, they sounded HUGE in the Wiltern’s cavernous space. O’Donnel stalked the stage, swinging his guitar in fury and triumph, knowing with every predatory step and every gutteral howl he was creating converts in the audience and wrenching open formerly closed minds.

They might be out of place almost everywhere, but that is exactly why they are so very vital and so goddamn important to so many of us–because they are there for those who still feel out of place even among those who don’t belong. If the universe has any justice, they will get all the acclaim and attention they deserve from all the exposure this tour is generating. And they will keep furnishing us outcasts with music for years to come.