Friday, December 5, 2008

No Age Played The Rickshaw Stop: Pictures, Review, Setlist

Last night at The Rickshaw Stop No Age played an ass kicking show to a group of utterly psyched fans. The fans were psyched, understandably, because one of their favorite bands was playing a free show at a tiny venue, and with the maximum of enthusiasm. No Age delivered a just over one hour set that held one foot firmly in the traditions of the LA hardcore scene, and the other in waves of abstract noise experimentation. The beginning of the night was a bit odd, as the show's sponsors attempted to make a sort of public service slash marketing announcement all about their site and buying merch there. Suffice it to say, neither the band nor the fans took much notice, and the band even started playing while company drone was still talking. Oh well - no big loss there.

From there the band kicked into an unrelenting set ranging over both of their albums, and including a couple of new tracks. The new tracks were solid, but definitely didn't stray from the established No Age sound. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the set was Randy Randall's ability to recreate his guitar sounds from their records. We were skeptical that this would be possible, but through a bunch of pedals, three separate amps, and a good amount of layering, he managed to generate note-for-note the rich textures from the record. It was heartening to watch a musician be so technically adept in a real way, and not fall back heavily on computers and samples.

Throughout the show, Dean Spunt seemed frustrated with the crowds lack of enthusiasm - he asked whether they were tired, or if it was a work or school night. He implored them to "loosen up", and still nothing. Finally in the second half of the set, came from behind the drum kit and instructed the crowd to "all move forward", and they did as they were told. From there, things accelerated into a much more crowded, much more mosh-y show, and the band seemed pleased with the results.

After banging through the recorded setlist, the band broke into two songs for their encore (help, anyone?). For the first, the band invited fans or "anyone who knew it" on stage to sing, and managed to wrangle up a few takers from the crowd. For the second, guitarist Randy Randall jumped from the stage and crowd surfed - continuing to play guitar while he did so for easily 30-60 seconds. Impressive, to say the least.

At the end of the day, No Age deliver live exactly what you'd expect from their records: noisy, brash, experimental, balls-to-the-wall, progressive music. The piece of the pie that doesn't really come across in the records is just how much energy these guys have. Throughout the show, both Randall and Spunta are frenetic balls of energy, traversing the stage and putting their heart and soul into the performance. It would be easy for a band that delivers this well musically to simply rest on their laurels, but No Age does exactly the opposite. It was enough that when Randall told a bouncer who was trying to calm the crowd "Hey, the kids are alright!", that it served as a solid reminder that No Age is helping to preserve the things that make rock music great.



Teen Creeps
Here Should Be My Home

Every Artist Needs A Tragedy

My Life's Alright Without You

New Song

Neck Escape
Dead Plane


New Song

Brain Burner

Boy Void

Ripped Knees

Encore Song 1 (cover)

Encore Song 2

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive