Its been a long time since Ive felt the yell and growl of a sweaty singer as they leaned over my head to get in the face of everyone in the front row. Its a reaffirming moment that reminds me why I love going to dingy rock shows to begin with. That care-free moment where youre forced outside of your own head for just a short hour and a half because theres a man singing in your face, and youre not sure if hes about to dive over you into the chaotically stirring crowd behind.
This was the scene last night at D.C.s rising Rock n Roll Hotel, the tiny bar in the desperate northeast section of the city. For last nights audience, they got something special, a double dose of grinding post-rock both from openers Fol Chen and even more so from the main show, Liars. The narrow bar had never felt louder and more intense, leaving a sweaty mass of hip Hill interns moshing against the stage.
Having spent the decade as a three piece perfecting their mutating sound, Liars took to tour their latest record Sisterworld with a little added support from the bass and lead guitarist of openers Fol Chen. Front man Angus Andrew wasted no time getting everyone riled up with opener Theres Always Room on the Broom. Taking his own words seriously, No Barrier Fun and Clear Island provided some of the best moments early on with an unstoppable intensity adding to the already heavy textures. Playing as a five piece in this small setting, and with the added help, they became an unstoppable beast. Andrew embodied a Ramone like persona with his long hair stuck in front of his face as he loomed over and thrashed at the front of the stage inciting those in his way to get just as aggressive. By I Can See the Outside World, he looked ready to jump in, and it hadnt been thirty minutes yet.
The set would tare through a scorching and heavy selection of tracks coving the majority of their career, with a slight lean on Sisterworld. Songs from earlier in their years, were built up and hit you like a wall, the energy never once let up both on stage and in the crowd making for a wild night. By the time they got to Scissor the room was at a fever pitch before leading into the riotous The Overachievers. When the song ended, Andrew huffed, Something smells like its burning, dont know if its me. He then laughed to himself and kept right on going.
The suspenseful Proud Evolution would cap off the night before the encore. When they came out for the last few songs, they did so as a three piece, and stuck to the back catalogue for one last blistering moment. It was a great way to close an epic set of post-rocks best giving the audiences more than just a night to remember, but a reminder that in 2010 the rock show is not dead.
Photography courtesy of Priscilla Raba
Theres Always Room on the Broom
No Barrier Fun
I Can Still See the Outside World
Scarecrows on a Killer Slant
Sailing to Byzantium
Here Come all the People
Plaster Cast of Everything
Good Night Everything