Saturday, October 01, 2011
city nights below ground
The Pains started at midnight. That's pretty late for an old zombie to be rocking out in a basement bar, but it turned out to be worth the wait.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, despite being in contention for having the most ridiculous name in indie rock, succeeded in waking the audience that had gone mostly somnambulant during the hour-long break between bands.
Prior to the lengthy stage setup, in which we were treated to the sight of a roadie with the lowest dragging pants in history slowly ambling about on stage and leisurely unraveling cords, the crowd had actually been pretty fired up by the opener, Big Troubles.
And with good reason.
The four guys from New Jersey threatened to steal the night with their high energy assault of melodic blissful fuzz and low-key vocals. With three guitars and one very hard working drum, Big Troubles conjured up inevitable comparisons to the Jesus and Mary Chain with, according to one particularly astute member of our party, shades of the Lilies thrown in for good measure. We loved them.
We went to last night's concert at the suggestion of friends who have impeccable taste in music, which only solidifies my contention that you never turn down a chance at live music. Frankly I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, having only a passing familiarity with their music, and prior to last night's trip to the merch table (where a Big Troubles member endeared himself to me by knocking over his beer during our conversation) a grand total of three Pains songs in my music collection.
But when they launched into a grand explosion of glorious noise pop, with beautifully fuzzy yet remarkably tight guitars, even the Spousal Unit, who was at this point several hours past his bedtime, sat up with rapt interest. Personally I was mesmerized by Peggy Wang, the keyboardist, who sported the most fascinating mane of shiny black hair that obscured her face for most of the set.
I may be a little bagged today, having not hit the pillow until 2:30, but a little bout of fatigue on a Saturday is a small price to pay for an amazing night of music.