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Review: No Age in Bloomington, Sept. 15

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On the second night of the two-part Cali lo-fi show at Rhino’s Youth Center in Bloomington, the price was raised from ten bucks to twelve. If you pre=ordered the tickets, however, both shows were included for a lowered price of $18.

Originally, both bands were supposed to play on the same night. Due to booking confusion with Wavves’ manager, the show had to be broken into two parts. The first night fared better than the second.

According to Dan Coleman of Sprit of 68 Promotions, there were 216 tickets sold at the first night for Wavves. 92 of those were pre-sale tickets. On the second night, there were slightly less — 150 altogether and 70 of them presale. Coleman speculates that local newspaper The Indiana Daily Student’s interview with Nathan Williams of Wavves had something to do with the hype surrounding the first night.

I talked to a few younger kids who had only heard of Wavves a few days prior. The crowd the first night was definitely younger than that of the No Age crowd.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be a bunch of 30-year-olds, but you forget how young kids can be,” Coleman said.

“It seemed like it was a lot of people’s first show,” said Bloomington resident Prianka Rayamajhi.

It is no accident that the show was set up at the largest all-ages venue in Bloomington.

“Both bands come from a DIY punk background,” Coleman said. “And most bands prefer to play an all-ages venue anyway.”

Dean Spunt and Randy Randall of No Age both agreed that they try to play all-ages venues as much as they can on tour. Even back home in Los Angeles they used to play often at The Smell, an all-ages drug and alcohol-free venue.

“Why exclude anyone?” said Randall. “It would be like playing a men’s only or women’s only venue. You shouldn’t have to miss a band just because you’re under 21.”

This was actually No Age’s second time at Rhino’s, which they said was “not unlike The Smell”. They played at Rhino’s in Bloomington last year with Deerhunter.

The band was excited to play with Wavves, but happy with the way the show turned out.

Spunt and Wavves lead singer Nathan Williams actually lived four houses down from each other at one point. They met in 2005. In 2009 Spunt’s label, Post Present Medium, put out a 7” for Wavves called To the Dregs.

The Brodericks vocalist Max Mullen channels the sound of Libertines front man Pete Doherty.
  • The Broderick's vocalist Max Mullen channels the sound of Libertines' front man Pete Doherty.

In keeping with No Age’s DIY aesthetic, two local bands opened Wednesday night’s show. The Broderick, a four-piece from Bloomington, has an effortlessly full sound with vocals that channel the garage-pop sensibility of Pete Doherty’s Libertines. The bassist’s slappy style often took the sound in an entirely different direction, but it worked with their set.

Following The Broderick, Indiana boys Erik Fox (Muncie) and Aaron Bragg (Bloomington) of Osteoferocious played a lo-fi semi-psychedelic set with surfy riffs, loud drums and rotating vocals. No wonder Coleman booked them for this show — they fit right in with the Cali bands of both nights.

Aaron Bragg of Osteoferocious concentrates on his band mate as he switches his pedals.
  • Aaron Bragg of Osteoferocious concentrates on his band mate as he switches his pedals.

Bringing the double evening to a close, No Age’s set was strong and high-energy. They made it a point to include the crowd, commenting on kids’ T-shirts and asking questions.

“The best part of both nights was that after the No Age concert, they took the time to talk to their fans,” said Bloomington resident Nathaniel Alcock. “A lot of young kids got inspiration.”

Randy Randall (guitar) and Dean Spunt (drums) are not generally a 3-piece, but when touring and playing live they must find a third person to fill in the sampling that either of them do during the recording process.
  • Randy Randall (guitar) and Dean Spunt (drums) are not generally a 3-piece, but when touring and playing live they must find a third person to fill in the sampling that either of them do during the recording process.

Amongst all six bands who played the two shows, No Ages Randy Randall had the most impressive set of pedals, creating an ear-blasting lo-fi sound.
  • Amongst all six bands who played the two shows, No Age's Randy Randall had the most impressive set of pedals, creating an ear-blasting lo-fi sound.

All photos by Sara Baldwin. See more from the show on her flickr page.

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