Foggy memories: sometimes they’re the best ones.
Having killed it at Sled Island in 2011, Thee Oh Sees returned to Broken City for back-to-back shows on a pair of chilly October nights. The anticipation was high from local music lovers. For me, personally, it was so high that I decided to use one of my last vacation days to ensure maximum enjoyment. I did not regret this decision.
Local rock/power-pop outfit the Mandates hit the stage first as the crowd had already filled the venue and were eager to begin the night. They served as the perfect opener for this occasion, perhaps edging out an advantage due to being the only band on the bill that hadn’t played the night before. They hit their stride about three songs in and the Mandates benefitted from the energy, but also made sure to return the favour.
The Sic Alps were up next with their new lineup and showcased songs from all over their five LP discography. If there was any lag resulting from the night before, it wasn’t shown or felt as the San Fran garage rockers were more than game to keep the pace. Mike Donovan and his bandmates carry a certain swagger in their live sets and this night was no different.
Finally Thee Oh Sees hit the stage. Is it psych rock? Garage rock? Kraut? Who cares, as this is currently one of the top live acts out right now, period. The crowd frenzied as the rockers delivered vigour in abundance. People dancing on tables, broken glasses and plenty of pushing and shoving were all staples of the evening. “Contraption/Soul Desert” was received with a pronounced response as the crowd moved in surprising unity. John Dwyer and friends never hinted at slowing down, even finding time to fit in a few tracks of their latest LP, Putrifiers II.
There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m not the only attendee who woke up the next morning feeling extra shitty, but with a stupid grin still planted on my face and an urge to do it all again. Happy hour starts at 3 p.m., maybe I’ll go use some hair of the dog to stir up some of those memories.
By Cory Jones
Photos: Sebastian Buzzalino