Shea Stadium, Brooklyn, NY
April 13th, 2016
In the concrete industrial park alleyways of East Williamsburg, I still sometimes have trouble finding the dingy unmarked door of Shea Stadium. But as soon as I pass the bootleg Captain America street art outside Sentry Window Guards, I know I’ll be alright.
Tonight’s first act Big Huge had the shiny staccato shimmy of Shannon & The Clams blended with a fun, hard rock fuzz, and even singer Dan Reg’s hiccupping rasp was a deadringer for Cody Blanchard at times. Reg sported a slight quiff and a bolo tie, while guitarist Sam Richer had long hair, black vest top and jeans. These different looks are worth noting because they also seemed to be a visual representation of the band’s musical fusion, and it worked.
Former Death By Audio regulars Mannequin Pussy were next, and their wild ruthlessness and harsh metallic tones were the embodiment of romantic chaos. The guitars swerved and squealed in a dirty collision of beautiful raw noise while the power of leader Marisa Dabice’s savage shrieks made her own body buckle to the stage floor in a merciless shred orgy. “I am not ashamed to be lonely/but I’m afraid to feel it so deeply”, she growled on “Kiss”, which you can hear on the Kiss Me Tender demos they recorded for their forthcoming LP I Lost Your Heart In Texas. Mannequin Pussy is impassioned and remorseless in their live attack, but there is also a lot of prettiness buried alive just beneath the grime which gives them more dynamic and depth than your average “shitpunk” act.
Audacity soon followed, and similarly proved their music transcends the generic trappings of a genre so tapped out of late; the scuzz rock revival of sunny California. With the new songs on Hyper Vessels, Audacity is not afraid to show off their chops, and there were dueling guitars drowning in violent whirlpools of fuzz freak-out on “Counting the Days”. Meanwhile, balancing the swift, vigorous punk blitz of “Baseball” was the thoughtful, anthemic choruses of “Umbrellas”, a slower offering about personal stagnation in a world of lower standards and diminished accountability. As their hair flew, singer/guitarists Matt Schmalfeld and Kyle Gibson anchored their youthful, impetuous snarls with synchronized, fine-tuned power-pop riffs and creative textural instability.
I have a soft spot for 2012’s Mellow Cruisers so was happy to hear the Weezer-esque “Subway Girl” and the intense, angular twists of personal favorite “Punk Confusion” infiltrate the room like warm old friends among the newer, more unfamiliar songs.
Above all, Audacity once again embraced their heavier side with a set full of celebratory jams highlighting their skills as relevant song-writers in a market over-saturated with predictable superficiality, and a great time was had by all.
Counting the Days
Not Like You
Lock On the Door
FRI MAY 27 – Barcelona ES, Almo2bar
SAT MAY 28 – Madrid ES, GetMAD! Festival
SUN MAY 29 – Copenhagen DK, KB18
WED JUN 1 – Oslo NO, Revolver
THU JUN 2 – Stockholm SE, Fritz’s Corner @ Lilla Hotellbaren
FRI JUN 3 – Gothenburg SE, Klubb Slacker @ Pustervik
SAT JUN 4 – Malmö SE, Psych Fest @ Plan B
MON JUN 6 – Lyon FR, Epicerie Moderne w/ Ty Segall
TUE JUN 7 – Ravenna IT, Beaches Brew Festival
WED JUN 8 – Villimpenta IT, Parco Giochi
THU JUN 9 – Sion CH, Le Port Franc
FRI JUN 10 – Brussels BE, Madame Moustache
SAT JUN 11 – Eindhoven NL, Psych Lab Festival
MON JUN 13 – Berlin DE, Schokoladen
TUE JUN 14 – Munich DE, Kafe Kult
WED JUN 15 – Hamburg DE, Knust w/ Ty Segall
THU JUN 16 – Groningen NL, Vera
FRI JUN 17 – Amsterdam NL, Black Eye Club @ Oedipus Brewery
SAT JUN 18 – Hilvarenbeek NL, Best Kept Secret
MON JUN 20 – Paris FR, Mecanique Ondulatoire
TUE JUN 21 – London UK, The Shacklewell Arms
WED JUN 22 – Brighton UK, Green Door Store
THU JUN 23 – Leeds UK, Brudenell Social Club
FRI JUN 24 – Glasgow UK, The Hug & Pint
SAT JUN 25 – Manchester UK, Fallow Cafe
All words and photos by Carrie Quartly, you can read more of her writing on the site here.