By Allison Hart
Sunday’s show at the stood was a night of shirtless drummers and head-bobbing punk boys, the kind of show that hurts your back halfway through from standing in front of the amp too long and could shatter the Snapple bottle in your pocket at any second. It all began with The Rotaries, a more traditional indie rock band from New York. Their bouncy alt-rock helped to build the crowd’s energy up in preparation for the rest of the sets, though all bands that followed were distinctly different from The Rotaries’ straightforward sound.
The best example of this was the a set by The Joint Chiefs of Math, an experimental punk rock/metal duo from Connecticut. The set-up was extraordinary: a drumset, a guitar, and more pedals than anyone could ever want. When the band began playing, the sheer power of the pedals and amps and distortion (oh my!) created a wall of sound that practically bowled over those unprepared for such an experience. This is where head-bobbing and intensity peaked that night, as the crowd seemed to be synchronized and completely focused on the music. The set flowed together seamlessly, each song led into the next without pause and not once gave the impression of creative ineptitude or technical error. It was akin to watching a tribal birthing ritual in that everyone could sense the magnitude of the event, yet it was somehow universally known that one should say nothing and observe.
Glocca Morra kept the energy high with their unique brand of emo rock (dashes of screamo influence were abundant). The music was bouncy and free, like that which would accompany a slightly more hardcore Garnier Fructis commercial. They bantered back and forth about Wal-Mart trips and long johns, made supernova-level friendly eye contact, and gleefully hopped around the space. It was a pure distillation of musician friendship, a stark contrast to the heavy mood of the previous performance.
Suns was the band that came last and carried the most importance, as it was the night of the release of their album The Engine Room. The vocals were nice, the kind you’d find in a teen movie about a girl next door who just wants to kiss the cool boy with the garage band. The quality and complexity of the lyrics was not astounding, but they certainly were up to par for the emo-loving indie rock audience that they most target. At one point there was a sudden burst of heavy metal, causing members of the audience to leap from the ground in shock, yet it somehow melded with the rest of the song.