The Rapture were great, as usual. Everything was on point and although it may not seem like it from the crowd shots, everyone was having a good time and there was a lot of dancing. Or about as much as you could ever expect from a NYC audience.
After a couple of weeks of absentmindedly studying the overwhelming, anxiety inducing Northside Festival schedule, I settled on heading over to Bruar Falls to check out Seapony and The Secret History. Mostly because SPIN had recommended the latter.
However, my friend was assigned to work the show at 285 Kent Ave. and I figured the other show would get enough attention, so I stuck around. Besides, 285 Kent Ave. had a section dedicated to Babycastles arcade games, that sealed the deal.
There were some cancellations & change ups, so I will only speak of the bands I saw. I didn’t stick around all night cause I have one of those 9 to 5 jobs.
The first band was Beggars In A New Land. They looked like two young guys fresh out of high school, maybe college freshmen. Just them, some synths, a laptop and green laser lights. I don’t know anything about them, maybe they’re not new to performing. They seemed confident and started playing to a pretty empty room.
So this past weekend we drove out to Columbia, Maryland for the SweetLife Festival. The main motivator for making the trip was that The Strokes were headlining. But the rest of the lineup was pretty good as well. I had not heard of half of the bands before.
(All pictures Copyright Roselyn Fortuna. Please do not use or repost without permission)
DJ Destructo started the night off with some danceable music, the crowd was having a good time. He kept the masses entertained. Nothing out of this world, but his set was fun.
Next up, Teengirl Fantasy. Their set was like going up a rollercoaster, feeling terrified anticipation, and finally reaching the top only to discover that it’s just a plateau for miles. At one point, the music was so monotonous that we found ourselves getting sleepy. Odd.
Then suddenly, our easily divided attention was distracted by a vicious fight, involving about ten people in the crowd. It was strange, because the music was the complete opposite of what we were witnessing. I guess music doesn’t always affect mood, because those kids should have been napping, not trying to strangle one another with glow sticks.
Finally, Crystal Castles. They came on close to midnight.
I didn’t keep detailed track of the setlist, I never really do, so here’s a random list:
Courtship Dating/Crimewave/Air War/Alice Practice/Baptism/Pap Smear/Suffocation/Untrust Us/Yes,No
Unfortunately they did not play Year of Silence, probably my favorite Crystal Castles song. But it was still a great set.
After dancing with abandon and crowdsurfing three times, Alice walked off of the stage with a crutch. My guess is that broken ankle is going to take much longer to heal than expected. But I think everyone appreciated her lack of concern for her own wellbeing. It made for a great performance.
Ethan was on point the entire night. Alice attracts most of the attention, especially with a broken ankle, it’s hard to look away. But he definitely kept the music flowing smoothly. And Christopher, he is probably the most neglected of those on stage, but he was a beast on the drums.
Can’t wait to see them again at the Sweetlife Festival in Maryland.
Here is video my sister took of the song they opened with, Baptism.
I am almost a month late with this post, can’t believe I forgot. Better late than never though right?
The only Beach House song I was very familiar with before seeing them live is Lover of Mine. I could have listened to more of their music, but sometimes I like to experience a band/musician live, before hearing their recordings.
I was blown away.
I bought their album Teen Dream afterwards. There really isn’t a better way to describe their music, that show felt like a wonderful dream.
You can see for yourself…
Unfortunately I only got to stay to see The Action Design because I had work the next day and had to catch an early train back to the city, however, just getting to see them was worth the trip.
Anyone who has been to many rock concerts knows that often, the opening band can be a pretty grueling form of torture. At times, I have even thought that perhaps the headlining band has picked the most horrible opening band they could find to set the bar for the night extremely low. So that by the time they come on stage the crowd is so miserable that anything the headlining band does is a major improvement and seems like the most epic concert ever.
That being said, this was NOT one of those concerts. The venue was crowded, the show was sold out and anyone who did not arrive early missed a great opening band. I have seen The Action Design several times in smaller venues, so it was great to get to see them at Mulcahy’s which is a medium sized concert hall. Their energy was great, their performance was on point and I couldn’t help dancing and singing along to the music.
I recorded a video of them performing one of their new singles, Still Standing. Unfortunately I cut it off a little too soon, so you can’t hear the enthusiastic applause at the end. But it’s worth checking out.
The crowd was mostly men in their mid 20’s and up, which can be a tough crowd for a band with a female vocalist. But on this occasion you could tell that the crowd was genuinely pleased with the opening band. Everyone was paying attention, I walked around the venue during their performance because I was taking pictures and I noticed everyone was really into them. They definitely made some new fans at this show.
500 copies of the vinyl were pressed and in all of about two weeks the vinyl has already sold out online. When I spoke to front woman Emily Whitehurst after the show, she informed me there are about 100 copies left that the band are selling on tour. So if you happen to see them, don’t hesitate to get yourself a copy. If vinyl isn’t your thing, they are also selling download cards for the two new singles.
If you haven’t heard The Action Design yet, you should definitely check them out. And if you’re going to see Social Distortion on their current tour, get there early so you don’t miss The Action Design‘s set. You won’t be disappointed.
– Roselyn Fortuna