This past Monday, as I walked over to Brighton Avenue, I was bombarded with bummed out kids looking for tickets to the KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS show. I shook my head and apologized, but I can’t feel bad for people who didn’t get tickets in time, even when I’m one of them. Everyone was hyper from drinking free Slurpees all day so the normally purse-lipped contemplative indie rock crowd was on their feet and rowdy.
Arc in Round opened the night with few words but some real smooth shoegazey songs that really caught people’s attention. Decked out with Moog synths and luscious reverb, Arc in Round set the tone and the ‘gaze’ for the night.
WOODS’ main attraction was definitely “tape-effects technician” G. Lucas Crane. I’ve been to some weird shows in my day, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone sing into a pair of headphones and fiddle with guitar pedals to make some awesomely haunting vocal harmonies and background melodies. Phoenix staff members Liz Pelly and P. Nick Curran were by my sides, nodding along.
Kurt’s set was a lot like his hair. Long. And really cool. The night was defined by lots of open chord tuning, crooked smiles, and a bunch of drunk dudes yelling “KURT I LOVE YOU HAVE MY BABIES BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!” Kurt was soft spoken during and between songs with raspy shouts sprinkled throughout. Overall, the swaying hair and swaying tones made me feel warm and focused, and I could forget about everything and drift into the song for several minutes at a time. This happens to me a lot, so if you see me at a show and it looks like I’m in a trance or having a seizure: I’m not on drugs, I swear.