By Judah Schulte
September 24th, 2018
Beijing-based two-piece, Gong Gong Gong, kicked off the evening with some mean blues-rock. Though their format was refreshing – all songs were comprised solely of guitar, bass and vocals, their special blend of psych and blues seemed a little too drony to inspire movement in a crowd that had come to dance to the eclectic punk stylings of Parquet Courts.
But at the sounding of the first chords of “Normalization“ the audience’s expectations were met and the entire lower floor of The Imperial became an incessant mosh pit. The punk quartet played with seemingly endless energy. And their fans, screaming the lyrics to “Freebird 2”, thrashing wildly to “Almost Had To Start A Fight”, sent the energy back to band, turning the venue into a big, sweaty punk-rock battery. Employing sample pads and Austin Brown’s synthwork, all the electronic bells and whistles were integrated with grace and precision. Andrew Savage proved a dynamic front man, performing his vocals with unwavering enthusiasm, even pulling out an electronic harp at one point. During the final chorus of “Wide Awake” Savage lowered and pointed his mic in the direction of the crowd, letting those on the front line join the band for a little while.
As seasoned professionals, Parquet Courts know how to end a show. They did so with an alternate version of “One Man No City,” which closed with five minutes of guitar dueling between A. Savage and A. Brown, a crescendo as big as the bands ever-growing reputation.