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I wiped-out once, ass-over-teakettle, on the ice during my walk home from work. The No Age dudes, meanwhile, literally slid downhill from New York last night, arriving a few minutes late for their warmup slot before Liars. The two Californians peeled off hats and scarves and hoodies while they played, expressing disbelief that they’d even made it to the gig. (Their merch sat for awhile in three or four big bags on the floor.)
I missed their quasi-legendary show at the Hosiery, but I can see why people would go apeshit for their drums-guitar-samples racket: On their nifty debut, Weirdo Rippers, the sound is arty, somewhat chaotic and slightly snotty. It raises questions about whether they can actually play. But onstage, the vibe is less affected; it’s more of an “ain’t this cool?” kind of thing. Yer own garage band is probably not as interesting. (And, yeah, they were probably joking when they said Dischord will be handling their upcoming album.)
As a live-Liars virgin, I was suitably impressed: Shaggy frontman Angus Andrew donned a Wayne Coyne-ish beige suit and dark red necktie. He didn’t climb around too much: It was a performance of gestures and wiggles and twitches, probably because that back injury is still bothering him. All that subdued spazzing was believable, though: Whereas Coyne’s sartorial choices tend to parody your neighborhood insurance salesman, Andrew’s posturing comes off like a commentary on jet-setters: The dapper guy in Row 9, Seat 47 is about to lose his shit.
Here’s the best way to explain how Liars overcame my expectations: I figured the show would be a lot of:
But it really was more like:
The rhythm is gonna get you.