Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No Age @ Bowery Ballroom, 5/6

I don't have time for a long review here, but I just wanted to drop a few lines about the No Age show I caught last night. I honestly went into it with no expectations - I really didn't know what it was going to be like - a lo-fi duo with a drummer for a lead singer?

The show surprised me in many ways. I loved the use of electronic samples to add depth and color to the tunes. The stage presence of the performers and sheer volume of it all was amazing. Add to that their enthusiasm for playing these songs to a full room of fans on their CD release day and you get quite a show.

Yet, behind all of these positives, something didn't seem to connect. There was tons of late-teen moshing, and even crowd surfing. Humorous enough however, was the sparsely-populated mosh pit's ability to catch those who chose to stage dive - or lack there of. The average weight of these fans was probably around 120 pounds. Skinny arms lack in catching prowess. Perhaps it was because they missed the early 90s, or maybe it was out of love for the band or the songs, but it all seemed a bit forced. No Age failed to move me in the way they seemed to move these kids - perhaps I've grown out of it, but I don't think so. The songs just didn't do it for me.

At that moment though, I realized that No Age is more about punk music than songs, noise, or "indie rock." They shun typical song structures and embrace inaudible vocals. They use their two-minute tunes to communicate through passion and volume, not chord structures or intimate-lyrical imagery. Isn't that what punk music is about? I guess. And, well, that's just fine with me.

Photo credit - Jason Bergman - 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the mosh pit was bitchin