Monday, December 3, 2012

Live Review - Titus Andronicus/Ceremony at Webster Hall - Sunday, December 2nd

Hey! Viva Indie Rock is proud to introduce a new contributor - Joe Waslin out of Brooklyn, NY.

A stormy night of thrashers, anti-thrashers, and awkward fans lingering on stage...

There was much fun and good music at the Titus Andronicus show at Webster Hall on Sunday, despite the presence of some aggressive and obnoxious concertgoers. One crowd-surfer had to have leaped off the stage at least 4 times, and the ridiculously massive mosh pit that broke out and remained during most of the Ceremony set created a lot of tension with TA fans who were probably not expecting such a hostile turnout. Anytime a thrasher came too close to the outskirts of the pit, he was (ironically?) brushed away rather forcefully. One guy advised his friend to leave his fists clenched forward for any mosher who came nearby. But even Ceremony Bassist Andy Nelson was having enough and at one point called their fans out, saying that punching kids you don't know in the face was "fucking ridiculous," a comment which received hearty applause by the anti-thrashers. Thankfully that seemed enough to calm the agro-pit down a bit just in time for the end of the band's set.

Patrick Stickles and the boys pleased the audience (most of whom recited every lyric verbatim) with songs spanning their entire discography, from their first 7" (the raucous "Titus Andronicus") to their latest single "In A Big City" from their new album Local Business. The band finished with one of my favorites, "The Battle of Hampton Roads", which was a surprise for me considering its length and complexity, but then again, how could they not end with this song?

Cheers for an encore resulted in a cover rendition of "Brown Sugar." It was a rare occasion (apparently they "don't usually do this") that was partially soured thanks to one girl who thought it'd be a good idea to crawl up on the stage DURING THE ENCORE and outstay her welcome, confusing Patrick's death stare for an invitation to dance.

That's not to say all stage-dancers and divers were an unwelcome presence, as for the most part the audience and band members alike enjoyed the fun, although guitarist Liam Betson lightly kicked one fan in the butt to make him aware it was time to go. One band member (don't recall who) gave a shout-out to the security for allowing the stage diving and dancing, saying it was something unheard of for a venue of this size. Even Patrick joined in on the fun for a nice crowd surf, with his guitar still in his hand.

At first glance, a Ceremony/Titus Andonicus bill doesn't make the most sense--how could bar rock peacefully coexist with the faster harder songs of Ceremony? Judging from the attire worn by the Ceremony drummer and singer Patrick Stickles, who each donned the other band's t-shirt, this tour was a successful and joyous pairing for all.

-Photos and story by Joe Waslin

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