Witch Coast - I was lukewarm to this local trio the last time I saw them, which certainly had nothing to do with them apologizing to the crowd for being the substitute act for Australia's Low Life who could not get the Visas together to make this gig in the Land of the Free. No apologies necessary, for although we missed out on a fine band from a long ways away, we got a nice set from a much improved outfit. The set was twice as long this time around clocking in at 33 minutes plus, which allowed us to see the range of dark Savage Republic like songs to more catchier positive major key numbers. They still rely on too much reverb in the vocals which I commented on last time and a woman from Baltimore I was chatting with mentioned this time (while joining me in enjoying their overall sound). It is always nice to see improvement. With a steady drum, a thrusting bass, and fine guitar sounds shaping decent songs, this band is worth continued listening.
Iceage - These Danish teens connected very quickly with a world audience with the release of their debut album and world tour in 2013. They are back with an exciting sophomore album and an even larger near capacity crowd tonight. I was impressed with the album, but it is even more amazing live from this band who is now all of age to have a drink in this country. They have taken their masterful fusion of punk and post-punk and expanded it into even more diverse rock territories while somehow increasing the underlying tension and power. The bass throbs away in post punk glory while the drummer has a lot of creative breaks that fit perfectly in the varied structures of their songs. I am not sure how the guitarist can coax such fascinating sounds that contrast the quiet and loud ranges with such dexterous playing. His moves remind me of something you would hear in Love. However, the vocals are more from Love's buddies the Doors with that Morrison like presence and moodiness. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt has great command of the stage as a front man and although offers a scary churning style that never quite explodes, I think their next stage of growth could be in offering some change ups in his tone. Hardly a criticism, but more of a guess, as this band could dumb it down and still generate an intense pit like they did tonight. Thankfully, they are incredibly smart and are clearly one of the more original heavy bands worth following.
Coincidence of the Night: I was amused to see that the person I was chatting with had an exact copy of my Decomposition Book that I use for taking notes. I did not know they were so popular and I am glad I am not alone using pen and paper in this hi-tech age. Thanks to Taliesin for taking a break from his cardboard tunnel games to pose with my well worn notebook.