Back again at Bender's, SF's Nova Albion brought the indie dance party before LA's The Great White Buffalo brought the pub down with an electric guitar cadence stuck in the 90s and the vocals of smart NYC-Casablancas circa 2002.
Mahgeetah brought the Bible belt sound with rust belt-built ethics. The SF based quartet takes a base of Americana steeped Southern rock and building upon it with an amped up jam centered shred fest with a heart.
Lake brought us a glass of crystal clear water before Matt Adams and The Blank Tapes gave us the California sound that was made to be dedicated to Memorex or TDK spool reels. With a sound that reaches “Coast to Coast”, the Tapes again proved that their sound extends across the shoreline land from the Pacific to the Atlantic where the golden Cali pop stretches to fill every state and plain in between our nation's waters. While we missed the legendary R. Stevie Moore at Bottom of the Hill, headlining favorites The Fresh & Onlys brought “Presence of Mind”, “Waterfall” annd more to a packed house.
And with additional reporting from Jenz, she presents all the action from the Rickshaw Stop of the evening.
Punk never died.
There's nothing like a little hardcore punk to wake you up at a show. Noise Pop Night 2 at the Rickshaw Stop boasted a punk line up including five bands in total – one of the heavier shows of the Noise Pop week, but it must be noted all groups finished their stage turnovers with complete precision and efficiency, it was impressive. San Francisco's Synthetic ID kicked off the night with a little punk, a little noise, a lot of soul and great guitars. Their energy was hard to look away from, and with a new 12″ out on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records out of Oakland, it's clear the lads have something special. They also reminded us that we forgot earplugs.
While the next two bands muddled a bit together, it is worth mentioning we would like to party with the frontwoman of Permanent Ruin – she started the first mosh pit of the night and didn't bother with any small talk, electing to just conduct her and then band to play a solid set with songs back to back, and somehow sweated more than everyone in the room combined. She made us forget that a girl wearing a Beyonce beanie was in the front row.
While comadre has some heart – the bass player initiated a hands-in-the-middle type rally, proclaiming “I love you guys!” which elicited a “I love you too!” from everyone else – the delivery fell a bit short. Singer Juan Gabe teetered a bit too much in the screamo category, and most of the band's songs clocked in under two minutes apiece, which came to an abrupt halt when it started to really get kicking. Or maybe we're just bitter our SF public transit pass was lost in the mosh pit as we were cornered at the edge of the stage, trying to not let 200 lb dudes fall on us.
Fourth band in the night, Terry Malts, steered the night to be focused once more and redeemed one of the more polished sets of the night, with some inklings in the Jesus & Mary Chain, old Social Distortion, and The Clash vein. The trio demonstrated some very tight knit grooves and harmony, and was the first band to have a kid with dyed highlighter green hair and piercings show up to mosh. We'll ignore the odd Februany Subway sandwich interlude that resulted in a foot long getting tossed into the audience. We still don't comprehend what happened there.
Understandably and as to be expected, though, was the explosion of headliner Ceremony on that tiny stage. The band shared a small piece of rise with dozens of crowd surfers, slam dancers, and mic stealers while arguably holding it down fiercely in a postpunk frenzy of throaty vocals and proper power guitar chords. It's easy to see why the fivepiece has such a following: they don't give a fuck while rocking out, and still adhere to a sonic fury sound that emits hardcore and punk fused together perfectly. Though many feared having a major label (Matador) debut first full length Zoo, the haters can kindly go to the left and let the Rohnert Park band put their hometown on the map. The only thing to really fear for is lead singer Ross Farrar's safety; he was crawled over, kicked, hugged, wrestled, and tugged at during the whole of Ceremony's set but still performed like a boss. That is true punk fashion.