Saturday, January 26, 2008

Concert In The Rain: Liars and No Age at Slim's

Last night at Slim's, despite torrential rain and Liars' frontman Angus Andrew's obvious back injury, No Age and Liars managed to put on a killer rock show. Both bands benefited from a huge amount of crowd enthusiasm, and delivered in turn.

After waiting in two (!) lines in the rain, we managed to get inside for the second half of No Age's set, which was fantastic. We here at H.A.D. had never listened to the band before, but they delivered a solid set of noise/post punk tunes. Probably the only downside was that the songs were so short: quite a few felt like they ended before they even started! The crowd was really into the band, and there was even a request for them to come back after Liars. In some ways, the show seemed to almost be a double bill. We have no doubt that No Age will be back in their own headliner capacity in short order.

When Liars did make it on stage, it was clear from the outset that Angus Andrew's recent injury news flash is definitely a reality. The usually active singer was slow in walking, and slumped a bit to one side. After standing for the first song, he proceeded to sit down next to the drum kit for the duration of the set.

Even seated, however, Andrew managed to deliver as much as possible on his usual antics. He was thrashing about, moving, waving and twitching through the entire set. The rest of the band was in fine form as well, with the addition of a fourth (Jeremy...?) to fill out the line up. Many of the albums' more complex sonic experiments were reproduced surprisingly successfully on stage. The band delivered killer versions of songs both new and old, including "We Fenced Other Houses With Bones Of Our Own", "Broken Witch", and "Plaster Casts Of Everything".

When Angus got up again for the last song it was clear that he really absolutely had needed to be seated for the show. There was such an obvious level of pain and immobility. Still, when the band closed the set with an amazing version of "The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack", it was quite nice to see the singer standing and making his way to the crowd.

Speaking of Mt. Heart Attack, probably one of the strangest aspects of the show was hearing the Drums Not Dead songs (of which there were many) out of order. We here at H.A.D. have largely consumed that record via the DVD surround mix, and listened to it as a single entity. Hearing the songs out of order gave them new individuality, and perhaps changed our consideration of some completely. We're still digesting.

So, there you have it. The Liars and No Age, in the face of adversity, are out on tour and kicking ass.

Many more photos available on the h.a.d. flickr feed.