While they sound raw and similar to the punk originators The Sex Pistols, they are more musically inclined. They manipulate instruments with the raging distortion sound, amplified at full tilt. This was witnessed throughout the set as all three guitarists had access to stationed platforms. There were also two keyboards, bass, and drums. Some songs have a balladry-type feel of The Pogues but are electrified. They also add beat-driven punk sing-along chants to the mix. Patrick Stickles's voice was unadorned, real, rough, and awesomely off-key. I just loved watching him. Lots of drama and strange moments, especially when he picks up a cold pizza and takes a few bites between verses.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what he would do with it. Some fans in the audience, thinking they were at an all-age show, started moshing to the chagrin of the rest of the crowd. The lights went on briefly to look for someone’s glasses. Don’t get me wrong, the crowd was engaged, including me!
o'death ruled this night. I am always enamored by their ability to work up an audience but headlining at the Bowery Ballroom makes a difference. The sound system is just great, and the band was delighted and thrilled to be there. The audience at an o'death show is just awesome. There is unity and love that generates even among o'death virgins. And there were many. They immediately succumbed to the robust energy of the songs. The dancing is fascinating to watch and to take part in. Because the song structures are unusual, fans could dance to a waltz-like tempo and instantly break out into an uncontrollable frenzy of jumping, pumping, and head-banging. The smiles and nods among the crowd acknowledging a shared experience were a highlight for me. An artifact of the evening was a bra relinquished from an adoring fan that Jesse Newman gladly draped over the microphone. The hour-and-a-half set ended with a chant. David Rogers Berry jumped away from his drum set to the center of the stage, all instruments were abandoned, and the band member’s voices rose in unison. Suddenly Bob Pycior dove into the crowd of outstretched arms, willingly propping his sweaty body above the throngs of appreciative fans. That night music was experienced as a community, as it should be.
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