There are certain risks in going to shows every night of the week: poverty, sleep deprivation, hearing loss, writer's cramp. Well maybe that last one is just me. I was prepared to risk all the above. Then other another shoe dropped, and I didn't write about the show when it was fresh in mind. So, here's a quick recollection of my thoughts before I forget absolutely everything about the night.
Carrie Dairy arrived ten minutes after the gig was to start. He was rushed onto the stage by the sound guy, and once his guitar was plugged into his small amp, he hit play on his phone, and we were underway. Dairy is punk rock. All downstrokes, all power chords, all sneer and snot. He's a high school kid, and he sings what he knows. This gives the audience a voyeuristic view into his interpersonal beefs, low stakes drama, and the venom he reserves for geography class. I'd seen Dairy a few weeks before, but now I was back for more. Or at least back for a replay as this was largely the same set, just delivered with less charmingly awkward banter, less gusto, and far fewer flubs. His missing partner from the previous set was present, and he made his presence felt. And although "Jace" didn't get a turn on vocals in this hurried set, he did tell Dairy when he should tune and how to adjust his guitar tone from his post in the front row. I think Jace should learn to play drums and elevate Carrie Dairy from a bedroom solo project to a world-conquering duo. That's free advice kids. The set ended with a punched-up cover of "Surfin' USA" just as it had last time.
Perfume followed with an impossibly long sound check, followed by a shorter set. Frontman Jamie Woodard demanded everyone come up front, and when some didn't, he threatened not to play. My brother in Christ, that one's on you. The foursome incorporates of a lot of different genres. But like your finger painting experiments in elementary school, sometimes you create art, sometimes you end up with a shitty brown blob. On the plus side, Perfume's two guitars frequently create enveloping textures that roll and undulate nicely. On the downside, it's hard to find a hook, or even a riff, in that ocean of sound. The band put a big smile on my face with some thick post-hardcore material. And then they ruined it with some nu metal guitar slop and post-grunge indulgent vocals. I'm reminded of a 1998 show at Memorial Hall where Snapcase and Quicksand opened for Deftones. I left before the Deftones. Perfume definitely would have stayed.
Denver's Public Opinion is the band that brought me out. It's punk & roll – the sweetest genre where punk bands admit their affection for guitar leads. Public Opinion is led by vocalist Kevin Hart. Deano tells me that he's got a different crew with him each time the band rolls through town. I can't confirm or deny this. Currently the band is touring as a five piece with two guitars that weave together nicely. One Telecaster. One Les Paul. No twinned leads though – you can't win them all. But the songs have hooks and swagger for miles. Between them and Fast Eddy, I'm thinking I should move to Denver. Until then I bought the band's EP and downloaded everything it had on Bandcamp.
Closetalker headlined. The band is from Minneapolis. They look like it. They sound like it. What does Minneapolis look like? Like Profane Existence-loving train hoppers. What does it sound like? Like dissonant guitars that somehow resolve into effortless melodies. Also, the band played with the abandon of early Replacements. Thankfully they didn't drink like them. The band has two vocalists: bassist Avery Taylor who sings and guitarist Josh Olson who yelps. Some songs get one, some get the other, some get both. On the latest single the mix of the two was perfect. The quartet's half-hour set ended with Olson shelving his guitar and running through the crowd for a cover of The Wipers' "Mystery." Make sure and pick up a cassette from them on tour, as you can't buy those tracks online. I found out the hard way.