As I ascended the stairs the blasts from the guitars of Biblical settled upon my ears. The sound was full and heavy with guitar, organ pounding drums, and distortion crashing around. It was heavy for sure, with frenzied outbursts of rock, but the pace steadies itself into a slow burn.
Nick Sewell was owning the denim jacket roadhouse style, pacing the stage and then lumbering over his mic. His voice can be melodic to rugged to growling. It doesn’t matter that you can’t quite make out the lyrics, It still sounds good. They are completely chill during their stretches of smooth instrumentation. There is a lot of open, booming space that induces goosebumps. One of the perks to being on a national tour with Death From Above 1979 might be the lighting, which, in comparison to their humble show at NYC’s The Mercury Lounge, this, along with well placed break-downs, left some mouth’s gaping during their song “The Quiet Crooks”.
As for DFA 1979, It is amazing how much sound comes out of a band that consists of two: Jesse Keeler on bass and synths, and Sebastien Grainger spilling his voice onto the crowd from behind a busy drum kit. There’s not even a front guitar, but they ROCK. By the time they erupted into “Cheap Talk”, the crowd was lit up, with the Crystal Ballroom’s floor shaking along to Grainger’s rhythms. I bounced through a lot of spazzing out, moshing, and people being thrown into the air to crowd surf. “You’re A Woman, I’m A Man” shifted gears a bit with heavy synths warped into a beat, but it soon broke into crazy dance punk, and ended with a mind rattling journey of bass play. It kept going into the next song where Grainger shrieked. He would break to talk to the crowd, and apparently a Kurt Vile doppelganger. There was a lot of intelligible recordings to add dramatic effect to intros and outros, and those guys came back on to play a four song encore. So if you are someone reading this and you are like “I have never heard of these bands”, CHECK OUT THESE BANDS. They are doing some amazing new things with rock. And it is LOUD.
Words by Brandy Crowe