Last week was a big week for concerts in Indianapolis. I ran up quite a bar tab, but it was worth it to drink along to some of my favorite tunes. Here’s a run down:
Tuesday 9/21: The Gaslight Anthem - After a modest warm-up by Floridian folk-rockers Fake Problems, Gaslight took the stage like true pros. The opened with their soon-to-be-classic “American Slang” and never slowed down. Their set list covered their whole career, but with little attention given to their 1997 debut, Sink or Swim. Highlights from the set included the slow and nostalgic “Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts” and the rowdy ode to dance parties “Say I Won’t (Recognize)”, both from their 1998 Señor and the Queen EP. Frontman Brian Fallon commanded the crowd like a seasoned veteran, with clever hip-shot banter from the stage and a charming smile. As the set came to an end, Fallon surprised the crowd with a punk-rock-n-roll cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl”. It’s not everyday that I get to mosh to Tom Petty. Thank you Gaslight Anthem and come back soon!
- Brian Fallon: Giving Tom Petty a mosh pit makeover
Thursday 9/23: Built To Spill - I love Built To Spill, but for whatever reason, I never got around to seeing before last Thursday. After a torturous opening set from boring hipster-rockers Revolt Revolt, the wise old men of BTS calmly took their positions on the stage. Vocalist and guitarist Doug Martsch delivered every note perfectly and the band sounded beyond professional, but there was not a lot to watch other than Martsch’s spastic head movements as he sang. While the band played well, the songs they played we less than inspiring. Other than “Car” and “Big Dipper” from 1994’s There’s Nothing Wrong With Love and “You Were Right” and “Carry The Zero” from 1999’s Keep It Like A Secret, there were very few songs that tickled the crowd’s fancy. Hopefully they will shake it up a bit the next time they come through.
- Doug Martsch: Mid-head spasm
Saturday 9/25: Star Fucking Hipsters - After all the standing and staring I did at the Built To Spill show, I needed an excuse to move. NYC crust-rockers Star Fucking Hipsters were that very excuse. After a slew of predictable high school street punk bands, SFH congealed on the stage and and ripped into crusty selections from their two recent albums. At one point in the set, lead vocalist STZA, mentioned the local case of Officer Bisard drunkenly hitting and killing a motorcyclist. “Just because he got off free,” he said, “doesn’t mean you have to let him off the hook. His address is listed somewhere. Find out where he lives and got to his house. Send angry letters. Don’t let him get away with this.” The crowd cheered with delight to hear STZA’s opinion on our local issues, but they screamed with joy when the band ripped into the infectious “3000 Miles Away” and chanted along to it’s delightfully simple chorus of “L-I-V-E against brutality!”. It was one of the best shows ever at the E.S. Jungle. As long as the Piradical crew keeps booking shows like this, I’ll keep coming out.