Iceage / Black Lips / Surfbort @ The Regent

Mosh Ado About Something

November 15th, 2018
David Fisch

There’s an exhilarating rush knowing that you’re about to be surrounded with living, breathing music and wild personalities for an hour or more. Sure, it’s likely the band you go there for that gives you those feels, but sometimes it’s the venue. Some of the best ones have this storied allure of being small but feeling large and procuring energy from like-minds and enjoyment in togetherness.


Photos by David Fisch

It’s how I feel about The Regent in Downtown, and it might be why Danish toughs Iceage performed there twice in the same year during the same album-touring cycle. Though you might expect the band to put on the same show, you’d only be partially right: the set was mostly the same, with most of the material devoted to this year’s Beyondless. But the energy was more tense and, in a sense, controlled, like the band had refined what was otherwise an already formidable concert act from months before.

The crowd was also more riled up, given the co-headlining of Atlanta’s dependable garage punk rockers Black Lips (who played material both old and new) and the fervent speed punk stylings (and wow-ings) of Brooklyn newcomers Surfbort. It made for a night at The Regent another one of giddy joy, in which moshing is par for the course and the bands put on a display of power in a room that handles it nicely.

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Iceage
Black Lips
Surfbort

Goatwhore/The Casualties at The Roxy

The Metal Alliance Tour brings a ruckus

November 12th, 2018
Lex Voight
Category: News, Photo Gallery

Last week the Metal Alliance tour dropped like a bomb on The Roxy. While weekday attendance left lots of room for hardcore dancing maneuvers, Goatwhore, The Casualties, Black Tusk, and Great American Ghost brought their A-game. Check out the photos after the jump.

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Young Fathers / Algiers @ Fonda Theatre

Two doses of experimental soul and something else

The 2010’s have proven to be the most remarkable showcase of indie experimental hip hop and soul, birthing some of the most ingenious acts who have traversed new compositional territory and blending genres so outside the realm of hip hop that it might not even be considered hip hop at all. To witness two of those acts on the same bill is something of a wish come true.


Photos by David Fisch

Scotland’s Young Fathers and Atlanta’s Algiers appeared together Friday night at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood for a brief U.S. tour, and while their studio recordings offer good insight into their instrumental drive and meticulous dexterity and conceptual thought, their live performances are another thing entirely, reverberating all of that energy into two sets that easily topped this year’s list of best concerts experiences.

Although they were only allotted a 30-minute set, Algiers made the most of it with a rapturously seismic performance, supporting one of 2017’s best efforts overall, The Underside of Power. The piercing dramatism of “Cleveland” and the industrialist gospel of “Cry of the Martyrs” and the post-punk fury of “Animals” brought out the wild of just about everyone, with vocalist Franklin James Fisher and bassist Ryan Mahan frequently exchanging close-ups as if they each wanted something extra out of their performances, more-so than the crazy energy already emanating from the stage presence.

Similarly, Young Fathers were just as if not more electric, the trio entering the stage in complete darkness before completely bursting through the strobes to “Wire” from this year’s Cocoa Sugar. The album was only slightly indicative of what a performance we would get, with its wide array of grooves and punches that could translate into a strong live show. What we got instead was something else, something otherworldly, in which this collective gathered to perform to all of their strengths with “we are not worthy” shining confidence.

The mostly bare stage felt larger than life when the colorful strobes against white hit the audience in blinding fashion, mixed together with the band’s impressive movements during “Old Rock n Roll” or “Get Up” or any one of their songs. They treated the audience to perhaps their most recognizable of the bunch, “Shame,” but they also gave their performance some refreshing nuance with tracks like the slow-burn “Lord” and the thick and sticky “Toy”

Both acts provided full-bodied performances that rank up there with the best this year has to offer, with their recent studio efforts ranking among the best in indie experimental music this decade. Your best best is to see them this month, together under one roof, sonically pleasuring the senses.


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Young Fathers
Algiers

Cloud Nothings @ The Teragram Ballroom

Going back to basics with “Last Building Burning”

November 5th, 2018
David Fisch

Cleveland-based punk rockers Cloud Nothings shot right out of a cannon in the early 2010’s as ones to watch, and as I have been watching them since the release of 2012’s Attack On Memory, it’s been a pleasure watching leader Dylan Baldi continue to hone and craft some of the most compelling and honest songwriting the genre has had to offer so far this century. Seeing them again on this new touring cycle for their latest record Last Building Burning has only reminded me of the strengths the band has, pulsating speeds of fury in tight compositions that are candy-sweet.


Photos by David Fisch

The band performed the album in its entirety, front-to-back, at The Teragram Ballroom Friday night. In addition, they performed tunes from previous works Here and Nowhere Else and Attack On Memory. With slamdancers swirling to “Pattern Walks” and “Stay Useless” and getting caught up in saying “I thought there would be more than this” as a newly-minted 30-something, it was fun to see a compact crowd rollick with the same drive the band had procured six years earlier.

Last Building Burning is out now on Carpark Records.

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Cloud Nothings

GWAR dominates the Belasco

Hatebreed, Ringworm, and Miss May I in tow

October 26th, 2018
Lex Voight

Gwar are an institution. Their goofy mix of self-effacing shenanigans and absolute earnestness–coupled with their impressive musicianship and consummate showmanship–is the exact kind of solution that gets right down into my core and warms it. Sure that solution is probably made from space jizz and the blood of fellow concertgoers, but it still feels warm nonetheless. I am an avowed and devoted acolyte of our lords and masters in Gwar, however, and would probably sell someone else’s vital limbs to become their official photographer. So don’t listen to me; check out the photos below.

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Judas Priest @ Five Points, Irvine

They continue to dominate all in their path.

Lex Voight

Judas Priest are legends. True, inarguable legends. They have been an unstoppable force in rock and roll and heavy metal for almost half a century. That Rob Halford’s powerful vocals are still as vital and soaring as ever is a miracle, much less that the band has managed to consistently release good music for that long a time. While age has slowed them somewhat–many of Halford’s moves are restricted to puttering and swaying, intermingled with huge, bombastic gestures and frequent (fabulous) costume changes while Ian Hill remains largely stationary–drummer Scott Travis and guitarist Richie Faulkner continue to bring a surprising and energetic flair to the legacy act’s powerful heavy metal.

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