I am notorious for dragging friends in random shows. I try my best to find shows that I think said friends might enjoy but sometimes I just don’t want to go to a show alone or just want to spend some time with a friend. What I’m trying to say is that my friends put up with a lot of crap from me and I realize that so when a friend (and fellow blogger) told me that I just couldn’t miss Monday night’s show, I obliged and decided to go check it out. I knew nothing about the two groups performing other than hearing a couple of songs from the headliner and, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t too optimistic but this friend knows music, he knows the show I like, if he said I had to be at this show then clearly I had to be there.
The anticipation was real for my friend who was doing photos for the show as the clock clicked closer to start time for opening act Mannequin Pussy. It was kind of funny how nervous he seemed to be as I have covered multiple shows with him and had never seen him on such a level. His love and admiration for this Philadelphia band was clear which was so cute but also put this band on a pedastal that I feared they would never reach. It’s not that I didn’t believe him that they were amazing but more that because of his excitement and my peculiar taste in music, maybe they just wouldn’t be for me and writing this blog would be difficult after seeing and feeling his excitement for the band. Thankfully, my friends are all pretty amazing and do listen to some good music so this blog won’t be a “they are good at what they do, I just don’t like what they do” type of blog.
Their set started off in a very soft and sweet manor and I was instantly confused. My friend doesn’t typically go for a more generic (for lack of a better word) indie-pop sound. I knew in the back of my head that something must happen but I tried hard not to get my hopes up. Two songs went by and my confusion and near disappointment was getting the best of me. It’s not that they were bad because they absolutely weren’t. Vocalist Marisa Dabice had an absolutely gorgeous voice that was full of emotion, passion, and talent. The band behind her shared all of those elements making them a solid band but I wanted so much more. It had to have been around the third song when I got that “so much more” and the rest of their set turned into a blur that I wish never had to end.
The soft, sweet, and almost innocent sound and stage show was replaced by a powerful performance that had me absolutely captivated. It’s almost like a switch flipped in Marisa and she turned into an animal on stage as she prowled from side to side of the stage. Although there had been energy in their set through the first couple of songs, that energy became deafening as the tempo picked up and the drums got louder. It was the type of set that has me lost for words but I feel like the goosebumps that popped up on my arms does the talking for me. Although the burst of power and screaming matched with chugging guitars and heavy hitting drums was absolutely what I want in my music, it’s not for everyone and Marisa addressed that. She explained that some people may not understand what they are doing on stage and went on to talk about how she just needed a place to yell about what’s going on in the world (definitely the summed up version of her talk). It was a perfect description of what their music and show felt like. Chaos mixed with moments of pure serenity all wrapped up in a bow of passion. My buddy was right, this was a band that just can’t be written off and I feel bad for those that were still streaming into the First Avenue mainroom after their set was done.
I had gotten what I needed from the show by the time Mannequin Pussy was done on stage but we still had headliner Best Coast. There was no way Best Coast could hold a candle to what had just happened but they definitely did their best. Formed in Los Angeles in 2009, Best Coast is one of those bands that seems to have a cult-like following that is intriguing to watch. Their California vibes warmed up the room and the audience was clearly excited for every song this group played in their nearly twenty song set.
Although described as just the duo of Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, Best Coast brought an entire band on tour with them that made their wall of sound that I had heard in passing on recordings that much more powerful. Bethany’s voice was smooth and flawless and Bobb’s guitar playing, although it seemed to take a backseat toe Bethany’s voice at times, was impeccable. The two of them along with the rest of their band provided the healthy crowd with songs that made you want to move and groove while keeping a laidback atmosphere in the room that was perfect for a sleepy Monday night. Although Mannequin Pussy stole the show in my mind, Best Coast definitely gave the audience one hell of a headlining set and capped off a perfect night of music.
Last night was one of the few times where a friend dragged me to a show (okay, that’s a bit dramatic being that I will clearly go to just about any show if I have the night off) and it definitely paid off. Maybe I should start listening to my friends a bit more.
Venue: First Avenue
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Smell-O-Meter – Weed
Average Age of the Crowd- 36
Crowd Surfers- None
Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Pukers- None Witnessed
Passed Out People- None Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None Witnessed
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Mannequin Pussy- 0
Best Coast- 0
Celebrity Sightings- Members of Gully Boys, Theyself
Overall Score- 7.8 out of 10
Show on Deck- Murder By Death/ Amigo The Devil
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