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DS Band Spotlight: Proper.

If you’re unfamiliar, Proper. are a three-piece formed in NYC roughly 5/6 years ago (as The Great Wight initially) but hailing really from a variety of locations across the country and bringing with them all of their collective experiences and musical influences and creating something that hasn’t really been done before. I remember hearing their […]

If you’re unfamiliar, Proper. are a three-piece formed in NYC roughly 5/6 years ago (as The Great Wight initially) but hailing really from a variety of locations across the country and bringing with them all of their collective experiences and musical influences and creating something that hasn’t really been done before. I remember hearing their last album, I Spent The Winter Writing Songs About Getting Better admittedly a little late and thinking “damn…I’ve never really heard anything like this before.” The new album, The Great American Novel, takes all of the things that were great about the last one and pushes the needles way past 10. It’s important music. It’s music about alienation and about not fitting in and about being a queer person of color in a land that, despite it being 2022, is at times becoming even less comfortable with people that check those boxes. It’s raw and it’s powerful and it’s somehow still hopeful. Oh, and if fucking rips. I feel lucky that I was able to catch up with the whole band (not just with Erik Garlington who spearheads the whole thing shredding on guitar and vocals but with the full band, new mom Natasha Johnson on bass and Elijah Watson on drums and whom you may also know from his “day job” as a journalist for Okay Player) for the (*both laugh*) podcast a couple months ago – you can check that our here or wherever you listen to your podcasts. In the meantime, fire up The Great American Novel and be ready to be blown away. we were able to catch up.


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DS Exclusive Video Premiere: Warn The Duke – “Anniversaries”

Brooklyn based melodic punks Warn The Duke are releasing a video for the track “Anniversaries” which is on their upcoming, ten track LP All That’s Solid. That’s it, just thought you should know. ….just kidding! We wouldn’t be here if that’s all we had to feed you, baby birds! Although the video doesn’t hit the […]

Brooklyn based melodic punks Warn The Duke are releasing a video for the track “Anniversaries” which is on their upcoming, ten track LP All That’s Solid. That’s it, just thought you should know.

….just kidding!

We wouldn’t be here if that’s all we had to feed you, baby birds! Although the video doesn’t hit the public airwaves until this coming Saturday, we got our grubby lil hands on it early (100% legal means, promise) and wanted to share it with our readers! The band is celebrating the official debut with a Release Show at the Cobra Club in Brooklyn on 10/29. But they ain’t stoppin’ there! Right after the show, they’re loading up and heading to Bean Town to play with Big D and the Kid’s Table at Brighton Music Hall the very next night. So, if you’re in one of those ‘hoods, stop by, say “Hi”, have a drink and listen to some terrific tunes!

Now, on with the video! Slap that play button (the repeat button a few times, too) and enjoy, comrades!


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DS Exclusive: Voice of Addiction – “Divided States”

Just in time for today’s volatile political climate, Chicago’s Voice of Addiction has returned with a brand new thirteen track LP (their ninth studio release) which is due out August 5th. But don’t fret, comrades, you don’t have to wait to hear it because you’re no normal person! You’re a glorious, loyal, worthy reader of […]

Just in time for today’s volatile political climate, Chicago’s Voice of Addiction has returned with a brand new thirteen track LP (their ninth studio release) which is due out August 5th. But don’t fret, comrades, you don’t have to wait to hear it because you’re no normal person! You’re a glorious, loyal, worthy reader of Dying Scene and with that honor comes some privileges. This is one of them. So, give it a few spins and tell all of your friends about it, then go preorder the album at Bandcamp. Also, the lads are hitting the road in support of the album, so if you’re in/near one of the cities they’re coming to (dates/stops below), go say ‘thank you’ to them in person for giving us such a wonderful gift!

Upcoming Tour Dates
7/22 – Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
7/23 – Oshkosh, WI @ Reptile Palace
8/5 – Detroit, MI @ New Dodge Lounge
8/6 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
8/18 – Youngstown OH @ Westside Bowl
8/19 – Rochester, NY @ Photo City Music Hall
8/20 – Holyoke, MA @ Apeland
8/21 – Boston, MA @ Midway Cafe
8/22 – Providence, RI @ Alchemy
8/23 – New York City, NY @ Heaven Can Wait
8/24 Brooklyn, NY @ Kingsland
8/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
8/26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ 222 Ormsby
8/27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Mockbee

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DS Festival Recap: Riot Fest Day Three (The Academy Is…Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleater-Kinney, Lunachicks and more)

Day 3 of the Riot Fest took place in Chicago’s Douglass Park on September 18, 2022, with some of the most influential all-women or women led bands dominating the stages. Jawbox, the Washington D.C, iconic band founded in 1989, whose original run lasted until 1997, was welcomed back during its midday set. The bright sun […]

Day 3 of the Riot Fest took place in Chicago’s Douglass Park on September 18, 2022, with some of the most influential all-women or women led bands dominating the stages.


Jawbox, the Washington D.C, iconic band founded in 1989, whose original run lasted until 1997, was welcomed back during its midday set. The bright sun beating down on most of the band members’ faces did not cause a step lost as Jawbox gave the crowd a forceful performance. The set included “Mirrorful,” “Motorist,” ”Cooling Card,” “Static,” “Cutoff,” and “Savory.” The band members J. Robbins, Bill Barbot, Kim Coletta, and Zach Barocas also solidly covered “Lowdown” by Wire, and “Cornflake Girl” by Tori Amos. A hot set made the hot sun more bearable for the Sunday attendees.


Concrete Castles hit the Rebel Stage with the Ferris Wheel and other carnival rides in the sightline of many in the crowd. Vocalist Audra Miller, guitarist Matthew Yost, and drummer Sam Gilman held their fans’ attention with an effervescent set which included “Wish I Missed U,” “Half Awake,” “Sting,” “Just a Friend,” “Lucky,”  and “You Won’t See Me Again.” The Erie, PA band started out as the very popular cover band First to Eleven in 2009 before forming Concrete Castles in 2021. Young though the members may be – all three are in their early 20s they all perform with the maturity of confident musical veterans. That’s what they are, combined with a bright and hopefully long future creating terrific music.


Zola Jesus‘ bewitching performance immediately brought to mind Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, not just because of her flowing garments. The Merrill WI performer, known offstage as Nika Roza Danilova, has an ethereal stage presence, and her set including “Lost,” “Soak,” “Exhumed,” “The Fall,” “Sewn,” and “Undertow” made for as intriguing a performance as her stage name.


Lunachicks kicked off their set with some seriously iconic music, Bill Conti’s inspiring Oscar-nominated theme from Rocky “Gonna Fly Now.” This was the perfect walk-on song as the band appeared, as they always do, ready to fight (for issues in which they believe. Not physically. Though I’m guessing they can hold their own in that manner as well). Band members Theo Kogan, Gina Volpe, Sidney “Squid” Silver, and Chip English didn’t wear their hearts on their sleeves, they wore them on their jumpsuits, dresses and shirts. “Not Government Property,” “Roe Rage Riot,” and “Our Bodies, Our Choice,” were among the messages displayed prominently during a year in which The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe V. Wade. Of course, feminist activism is engrained in the DNA of the band. The NYC band’s 2021 memoir “Fallopian Rhapsody” was met with critical acclaim. Lunachicks exhibited their signature power as they ripped through an extensive set including “Bad Ass Bitch,” “Say What You Mean,” “Jerk of All Trades,” “The Day Squid’s Gerbil Died,” “Luxury Problem,” and “Less Teeth More Tits.” A prodigious set indeed by voices perhaps more relevant than ever. Heroes we deserve? Probably not. Heroes we need? Most definitely.


One of Sleater-Kinney‘s first rehearsal spaces was located on Sleater-Kinney Road in Lacey Washington, nearby to Olympia, where the band was founded. The road from that road has been as long one for the now legendary Sleater-Kinney. Its set at Riot Fest 2022 once again proved why Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein continue to be so compelling, both as a band and as individuals. Among other tunes, the band performed “High in the Grass,” “Jumpers,” “All Hands on the Bad One,” “Bury Our Friends,” “Modern Girl,” and “The Center Won’t Hold.” Sleater-Kinney delivered a dynamic performance, one that makes us hope we won’t have to wait long before catching them again. Maybe at Riot Fest 2023?


Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O.’s signature black bowl hairstyle was partially obscured at the start of the band’s set by the topper of an elaborate bright, multi-colored outfit. The first sight of the outfit elicited wows from the crowd and other observers. Her bandmates, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase, clad in clothing nearly matching the night sky, and positioned further away from the spotlight focused on O. were partially obscured themselves. In any case, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s stood out as a shining example of what a great band can accomplish during a crowded festival weekend. The band performed “Spitting Off The Edge of the World,” and “Burning,” from its new album “Cool it Down.” The well-received album, its first new one since 2013’s “Mosquito,” was released just under two weeks post-Riot Fest, on September 30, 2022. The set also included “Zero,” “Wolf,” “Soft Shock,” “Cheated Hearts,” and “Under the Earth.” It was a fun set to watch and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are enjoyable to shoot photos of as well.


As Riot Fest was born in Chicago, it was fitting that the band with the latest scheduled set start time, by a mere 15 minutes, was from Chicago as well. Nine Inch Nails might have been presented as the Sunday night headliner but The Academy Is… did a pretty good job of drawing many members of the hometown crowd, as well as visitors too, away from Trent Reznor and his bandmates. The band returned to active status seven years after its farewell tour in 2015 and for those fans, seeing them again or for the first time, could not contain their enthusiasm. Band members William Beckett, Adam T. Siska, Mike Carden Andy “The Butcher” Mrotek rewarded their wait with an energetic set, performing “The Phrase That Pays,” “LAX to O’Hare,” “Bulls In Brooklyn,” “Black Mamba,” “We’ve Got a Big Mess on Our Hands,” “Checkmarks,” and “After the Last Midtown Show.” The Academy Is…also paid tribute to Material Issue, the immensely popular Chicago band active from the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s, by covering the latter band’s song, “Very First Lie.” There was a special surprise for fans. Original band members Michael Del Principe and AJ LaTrace joined the others on stage to perform “Attention”  off their debut album, “Almost Here. “


Riot Fest 2022 was an exhausting and hot weekend full of great tunes and good times. As coverage of this year’s event winds down, we’re finding it difficult to take a full break from the event. After all, there’s Riot Fest 2023 in the works.

More photos from the final day of Riot Fest 2022 below!

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DS Photo Gallery: Catbite, Bacchae & Riverby @ Saint Vitus (2022-11-12)

It seems like Philadelphia ska band, Catbite is everywhere these days. This past year has seen them on tour with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto, Jeff Rosenstock, Mustard Plug, Anti-Flag, and Screaming Females to name a few. And topping it all off with a cherry on top, they embarked on their first ever mini headlining […]

It seems like Philadelphia ska band, Catbite is everywhere these days. This past year has seen them on tour with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto, Jeff Rosenstock, Mustard Plug, Anti-Flag, and Screaming Females to name a few. And topping it all off with a cherry on top, they embarked on their first ever mini headlining tour a week or so ago which has had them playing in hometown Philadelphia, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and the show which I was able to catch in Brooklyn at Saint Vitus. (Oh yeah, remember last month when Brittany Luna guest appeared at Gaslight Anthem?)

Saint Vitus was the first time they’d played NYC as a headliner and Brit, Tim Hildebrand, Ben Parry, Esteban Flores, and Chris Pires were beyond stoked as they opened up the set with fan favorite, “Creepin” from last year’s spectacular LP, Nice One. This fast-paced “on the upbeat” ripper is one of that classic kind of ska songs that wouldn’t at all be out of place if it were slipped into a mix with songs off the first The Specials album. Its frenetic pace had the packed room at Saint Vitus in full-blown skankin’ mode right off the bat. From here the band rolled right into their cover version of Neon Trees’ “Everyone Talks” which the band released earlier this year as part of a 4 song split with Mike Park of Asian Man Records (to name just one of his countless accomplishments). Obviously where the Trees start off their original with a sort of late 50’s R&B crooner style before they kick into its indie rock sing-along chorus, tonight Catbite started off with a slow rock steady beat before literally kicking into the chorus which they re-imagined into a total ska romp.

With barely any time between songs to catch their breath, the band stomped from one song to the next, culling a set list comprising the most upbeat and raucous of their material from their two full-length LPs (Nice One as well as their eponymous debut). Needless to say, the crowd at Saint Vitus which had come to skank, pogo and mosh like their lives depended on it were handed the perfect soundtrack to do just that. Things would get seriously crazed throughout the hot and sweaty room for all-out R-O-C-K-E-R-S like “Asinine Aesthetic” and “Amphetamine Delight”.

But who would have guessed that things could get even hotter as the crew kicked off the encore with “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Excuse Me Miss” from Nice One. By this time the band had the crowd full-blown out of control dancing and singing maniacally. All in all, it was truly something to behold. Fortunately, Catbite has no intentions of slowing down in the near future and I know that I’ll be skanking along to them in a couple of weeks when they’re scheduled to open for Bouncing Souls in both Brooklyn at Brooklyn Made as well as everyone’s favorite New Jersey joint, Crossroads in Garwood, NJ. (Both shows at Crossroads are sold out but there are still tickets available for the Brooklyn Made gig).


I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the night’s two opening bands. Starting off the evening was a band out of Philadelphia that I was not at all familiar with prior to this evening called Riverby. I’m not sure what they’re putting in the water down in the City of Brotherly Love but damn, Philly keeps spitting out really interesting new bands almost as fast as they produce ill-behaved sports fans (sorry, I just couldn’t resist). Lead singer, August Greenberg, possesses quite an engaging stage presence as they led the band through a breakneck-paced set which at times reminded me of the band Heart on amphetamines. All in all, I did enjoy their rough and ragged set and do think that they could be a band to keep your eyes on in the future.


Next up was the band Bacchae out of Washington DC. I’d seen Bacchae a couple of months ago opening for The Linda Lindas and to be honest wasn’t all that impressed. Friday night at Saint Vitus however, changed my mind. The growth shown by the band in a few short months was truly inspiring. With a sound that brings to mind early B-52s crossed with the No Wave sound of downtown NYC circa early 80’s with bands like Bush Tetras, Liquid Liquid and quite noticeably early Sonic Youth was quite invigorating. Both Katie McD (lead vocals and keyboard) as well as Rena Hagins (bass and backup vocals) have grown tremendously in their stage presence and ultimately put on a fantastic set.

Check out full photo galleries from each of the bands below!

CATBITE Slideshow

RIVERBY Slideshow

BACCHAE Slideshow

  1. Hey! There are only people with they/them pronouns and he/him pronouns in Riverby. I’m glad you liked them because I do too, just please make it more of a practice to find out people’s pronouns like you do their names. Often it’s as easy as checking their bios, like in their case. Thanks!

    • I misread their Insta bio initially. Updated the story accordingly. Thanks for keeping us honest!!

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DS Photo Gallery: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, The Bronx, Pet Needs in Nashville, TN 7.5.22

I have a confession to make. Although I am greatly ashamed, and I’m probably going to be shunned by all of the Dying Scene faithful, I must admit that this was my first time seeing Frank Turner. I know, I know, the guy tours nonstop and frequents Nashville and the surrounding cities. Not to mention […]

I have a confession to make. Although I am greatly ashamed, and I’m probably going to be shunned by all of the Dying Scene faithful, I must admit that this was my first time seeing Frank Turner. I know, I know, the guy tours nonstop and frequents Nashville and the surrounding cities. Not to mention that I have been knowingly committing punk rock sacrilege by not having attended at least once, but, excuses aside, I finally made it. And man did it live up to all the hype.

Pet Needs, traveling from across the pond to the US for the first time, was a phenomenal opener. The Bronx reminded me why they might very well be my favorite live band. And Frank Turner was, well… Frank Turner. The dude was a true professional and was as classy and entertaining as I had heard.

Like I said, Pet Needs was enjoying their first trip to the states, and as soon as they started their set, they made me a fan. They’ve got some catchy tunes, most notably ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’ and ‘Punk Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Up for Sale’, and guitarist George Marriott can down-right shred. In a way, they reminded me of some of the early English punk acts that made their way over to the states: the Buzzcocks, The Clash, etc. After seeing them live, I could not have thought of a better opener for the king himself.

I’ve seen The Bronx a number of times and my love for them grows with every performance. These guys are about as professional as it gets and they throw one hell of a party. What made their set even more exciting for me was when I realized former Offspring and current Against Me drummer Adam ‘Atom’ Willard was behind the kit tearing things up, all with an ear-to-ear grin for the set’s entirety.

Seeing my favorite drummer absolutely kill it was just icing on the cake. Seeing the Bronx is always a treat, but this most recent show was long overdue.

There’s not a whole lot that I could write here that would be new to anybody reading this. This was Frank Turner‘s 26th show in the last 26 days (on the road to 50 shows in 50 days – editors note: you can see our coverage of the New Jersey show here and listen to our interview with Frank from just before tour was announced here) and show number 2653.

I haven’t been at this whole concert photography thing for too long, but I’m gonna go ahead and label Frank and the rest of The Sleeping Souls as the most photogenic group in punk. It was hard to get a bad picture of these guys, and that’s saying something for a guy who takes photos that are normally 90% complete shit. Thanks to these dudes, this was the most fun I’ve had watching a show in a long time

Down below is the full gallery from all three bands. Had a lot of fun with this one and it would be much appreciated if you took the time to check these out. Until next time, Cheers!

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DS Photo Gallery: Less Than Jake, Bowling for Soup in Nashville, TN 7.25.22

If you saw my last gallery on Frank Turner, The Bronx and Pet Needs, I was quoted as saying, “[The Bronx] may very well be my favorite live band”. Well I lied … kind of. I forgot about a group of ska-loving punk rockers from Gainesville that played a pivotal role in my musical upbringing. […]

If you saw my last gallery on Frank Turner, The Bronx and Pet Needs, I was quoted as saying, “[The Bronx] may very well be my favorite live band”. Well I lied … kind of. I forgot about a group of ska-loving punk rockers from Gainesville that played a pivotal role in my musical upbringing. I’m not gonna say that the Less Than Jake dudes’ performance topped that of the LA guys in the Bronx, but I’m content having a two-way tie for first on the list of ‘Nathan’s Favorite Live Bands’.

This was a fun show. It’d been almost five years since my last LTJ show, that one being across town at the Mercy Lounge with the Red City Radio boys. This was my first encounter with Doll Skin and Cliff Diver (both of which I mentally labeled as ‘will see again’), and although I am very familiar with Bowling for Soup from my early days of investigating pop-punk, I had never caught a live show of theirs either. So other than reacquainting myself with Less Than Jake’s live set, this was an evening of firsts.

What stuck out most from Doll Skin‘s performance was the sheer chaos and havoc that lead singer Sydney Dolezal rendered during their set. The images here do little justice as an accurate portrayal of the set’s intensity. They are one of few opening bands that I’ve seen that achieve this level of crowd engagement and attentiveness, which speaks volumes about this band’s live show.

Cliff Diver was an excellent opener for the two headliners because their style was a mix of what drew fans of both headliners to the show. They had the early 2000s pop-punk sound that fans of BFS would love. On the other hand, at times they also had a more traditional ska-punk sound that those who came for LTJ could appreciate.

And one other thing … man, can Briana Wright sing!

There seemed a clear division among those attending that I somewhat alluded to earlier. You had those attending for Less Than Jake (the crowd I would lump myself in with), and those who came for Bowling for Soup, and there was not much overlap between the two groups. Between LTJ’s set and BFS’s, the crowd huddled up near the stage was an entire new set of faces.

Although BFS’s glory days may seem to be in the past, these dudes can still hold their own and there’s still a pretty large group of followers who all still have the same question: Are they bowling in order to earn soup, or on behalf of soup?

There’s not much I can write here other than if you haven’t caught the Less Than Jake guys live, you’re probably in the minority of readers of this site, and you need to see them immediately. I’ve seen bands where their stage antics are gimmicky and their humor distasteful, but what could possibly be gimmicky about a damn toilet paper cannon?

In all truthfulness, you could see the sincerity of the performance from each and every member on stage. They were all genuinely having the time of their life up there.

As always, your time and attention here are very much appreciated. Check out all these rad bands, and I’ll have more galleries up in the coming weeks. Until next time, cheers!

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DS Photo Gallery: Lucero & LA Edwards @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg (10-18-22)

Don’t you just hate when life gets in the way of the fun things? It’s taken me way too long to get this written up, and for that I wholeheartedly apologize. So without any further ado, here are my thoughts on what has turned into Lucero’s annual mid-October visit to New York City. I arrived […]

Don’t you just hate when life gets in the way of the fun things? It’s taken me way too long to get this written up, and for that I wholeheartedly apologize. So without any further ado, here are my thoughts on what has turned into Lucero’s annual mid-October visit to New York City.

I arrived at Music Hall of Williamsburg a little earlier than expected due to a surprising lack of traffic on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway aka the BQE (if you’re from NY, you know what a surprise it is whenever there isn’t any traffic on this highway). So walking into the venue, to see the room completely empty was a bit startling. At about 8 PM the handful of people in the room were greeted on stage by an unannounced comedian friend of Ben Nichols and the band. (I apologize for not having caught his name but if anyone does know it please leave it in the comments so that I can include it in this piece.) Not surprisingly, standing on a stage in front of maybe a dozen people in a room meant to hold up to 600, led to this sparsity of people to become the focal part of the act. Eventually hitting his stride, especially when he got on the topic of a certain sex act which much to his surprise, millennials have brought to the mainstream, the crowd (or those who were there at least) quite enjoyed the act.


L.A. Edwards, a foursome consisting of 3 brothers plus one, from Nashville by way of San Diego are the official opening act on this tour and they took the stage right at 8:30. With a vocal style very reminiscent of Jackson Browne, lead singer Luke Edwards along with brothers Jay and Jerry as well as guitarist Landon Pigg offered up a really nice opening set laced with soulful Laurel Canyon style harmonies backed by a mix of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers crossed with Dawes brand of rock and roll.

Ben Nichols, Brian Venable, John Stubblefield, Roy Berry and Rick Steff AKA Lucero took the stage shortly before 10 PM and started things off with “For The Lonely Ones” from 2018’s Among The Ghosts. Following this up with 2 fan favorites in “Chain Link Fence” and “Sweet Little Thing” both from their classic Tennessee LP, the boys now had the audience (which had grown into an actual “crowd” by now) singing and shouting right along with Ben at the top of their lungs.


Which brought us to the first of what would be 5 new songs on the evening. As you all have probably heard (or read right here in Dying Scene), Lucero will be releasing their latest full-length LP, Should’ve Learned By Now in February 2023. “Drunken Moon” is a slow burner ballad with actual backup vocals included which the Edwards boys from L.A. Edwards would come onstage to help out with. Ben, while calling them out onstage to help out with vocals, made fun of himself by saying that he’s been called an “anti-harmony” singer since such things are so rare on Lucero songs.


Throughout the rest of the evening we would be treated to “Buy A Little Time”, “Macon If We Make It”, “Nothing’s Alright” and “One Last F.U.” (encore) from the upcoming album. Unlike “Drunken Moon” these other 4 songs are for the most part serious rockers which the band seemed to be having a blast playing. This brings me to one observation which I was happy to see. We all know that 99% of the time we can expect Ben to be…well for lack of a better way to describe it, BEN. And of course this “Ben-ness” often has a direct correlation as to the amount of whiskey passed to the stage from the crowd. This night in Brooklyn was no different than in the past with one exception.


Brian seemed to be much more animated than he has been in quite some time. He jumped into one of Ben’s monologues at one point to say that Lucero had been playing at Music Hall Of Williamsburg for quite some time now, going all the way back to its days when it was known as The North Six. He even started to tell the story of when he played on this stage completely naked, then he came to his senses and held off on sharing the grim details.


In any event, my point is that more so than I’ve seen in the recent past at least, the boys in the band appeared to be having a truly great time on stage. Of course John was his usual campy self on bass and Roy just sat back and had a grand old time beating the hell out of the skins.


It was particularly great to see Rick doing well sitting behind the keyboards with his stately new (to me at least) tied-back ponytail. (Unfortunately, we were not graced with Rick pulling out the accordion on this particular evening, but it was really great to see that he was clearly on the mend from his health issues). Ben even took the time to mention that while this might have been the smallest crowd that they’d thus far played to on this tour, it was by far the most fun and best show (from his perspective) so far.

All in all, it was a fantastic way to pass away an otherwise mundane Tuesday evening in NYC. In what turned out to be a bit of foreshadowed irony, Ben did mention at the end of the show how he was really looking forward to their drive after the show over to beautifully scenic Secaucus, NJ which got quite a cackling of laughter from the crowd. Of course, the irony reared its ugly head the following day when a member of the band’s touring crew had some medical issues and the tour bus was basically sequestered for the next 3 or 4 days in “beautifully scenic Secaucus“.

L.A. Edwards Slideshow

Lucero Slideshow

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DS Show Review and Photo Gallery: Archers Of Loaf & Weird Nightmare Live at Warsaw (2022-12-02)

Archers Of Loaf should be a band that any fan of college radio during the ’90’s should be familiar with. Having formed in 1992, the band released its debut full-length LP, Icky Mettle, in 1993 to mostly favorable critical acclaim. The band would ultimately release 4 studio albums and tour relentlessly throughout the decade. But […]

Archers Of Loaf should be a band that any fan of college radio during the ’90’s should be familiar with. Having formed in 1992, the band released its debut full-length LP, Icky Mettle, in 1993 to mostly favorable critical acclaim. The band would ultimately release 4 studio albums and tour relentlessly throughout the decade. But like many of the college circuit indie bands of that decade, the grind would eventually take its toll and they decided to concentrate on separate solo projects in 1998. Fast forward to 2011 when Archers of Loaf began playing live shows once again. At first, it was a one-off festival here or there but with Merge Records re-releasing their 4 studio albums in 2012, the band hit the road touring fairly extensively in 2012. They toured sporadically after this, but truth be told it’s been a quiet decade or so for fans of the Archers. That is until the release a couple of months ago of their first studio LP in over 20 years, Reason In Decline. And those of us in the northeast were even treated to a brief tour in late November/early December which was concluded last week in Ashville, NC.

Weird Nightmare

In Brooklyn, we were treated to Archers Of Loaf visiting us last Friday night at Greenpoint’s home of pierogis and punk, Warsaw. Opening up was Sub Pop Recording artist, Weird Nightmare from Canada. Those of you familiar with the band METZ, will be familiar with lead singer Alex Edkins who is also METZ’s singer/guitarist. Billed as a more melodic power poppy kind of band compared to Alex’s other band, Weird Nightmare on Friday came off way louder and more aggressive than I expected. I had seen them earlier in the summer opening for Kiwi Jr. and at that show their power pop underpinnings came across in a most jingly way. Friday however, while there was still the crunchy guitar work that defines pure power pop, Alex and the rest of the band seemed to in a few short months to have gravitated to a louder more in-your-face kind of power pop. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what I heard and appreciated the growth the band appears to be going through. I’m merely stating my surprise at how much had changed since I’d seen them last. One thing I do have to comment on however, is I don’t think that the bottom-heavy sound system at Warsaw did Weird Nightmare any favors as the sound at points did come across as bassy and muddled.

Eric Johnson

Archers of Loaf took the stage promptly at 9:30 PM, starting off with “Step Into The Light” the meandering instrumental off of 1995’s Vee Vee followed by “Breaking Even.” a much poppier upbeat tune from the new album. And then lead singer Eric Bachmann ripped into “Wrong” from 1996’s The Speed Of Cattle and immediately the night was off to the races. With its bouncing rhythm and shuffling guitar work, “Wrong” is pretty much a quintessential Archers song. This clearly was not missed by the crowd who at this point were jumping right along to the incessant guitar work coming out of Eric Johnson’s amp.

Eric Bachmann

Not one for stage banter, frontman Eric Bachmann relied more on his masterful rhythm guitar work and more importantly his singing to convey his emotions. When he belts out the opening line, “There they go, fucking up the ratio. Biting on the skin that hangs off a hangnail” to “Lowest Part Is Free” one can’t help but feel the angst and frustration of what it must have felt like to be an indie recording artist during the crazy post-Nirvana 90’s with all kinds of industry types looking to suck the life blood out of each and everyone of these artists. This bitterness plays a huge role in Archer’s oeuvre. The noise, the seemingly endless rhythmic soloing, the screaming, all play a major role in what Archers Of Loaf were then and to an extent, still are.

Matt Gentling

Speaking of stage banter, with both the Eric’s (Bachmann and Johnson) not being huge talkers on stage, the banter is left to the band personality, bassist Matt Gentling. Gentling has let his hair grow out significantly since the band’s heyday, looking more like a bassist in a thrash metal band than a 90’s indie band. One of his on-stage anecdotes had to do with his hair, stating quite matter-of-factly how difficult it is at times to disengage his flowing locks from the back of his throat. Evidently, with his animated playing style, his hair flying all over the place, if he’s not careful when taking a deep breath prior to singing backup, he’s been known to suck great lengths of hair clear down his throat which obviously makes singing those backups quite impossible in the moment.

One of the highlights of the evening for me came roughly midway through the set when drummer Mark Price led the band with his pounding syncopated drum beat into “Screaming Undercover”, a new banger off of Reason In Decline. It’s a perfect tune that lends itself to Bachman being able to scream/sing each and every word all the while the band rages on with breakneck precision. Of particular note was Matt’s frenetic bass work as his fingers raced up and down his fretboard. This brings me to my one and only complaint (if it really is one) in that with such a great new album just having been released by the band – not to mention their first studio effort in over two decades – I just wish that they had played more of it during their set. I fully understand that for many, this might have been the first time ever seeing the band. They’ve only been to NY twice in the last almost 30 years – in 2012 they played the 4 Knotts Festival at the Seaport and then in 2015 at Music Hall of Williamsburg – so it is somewhat understandable that a cross-section of their entire career was warranted. And to that point they did a fantastic job spreading the material out between all of their albums. But Reason In Decline is truly a very good album and it just felt that it should have been showcased just a little more. No doubt, I might be in the minority on this opinion and that’s fine.

The set came to a screeching and crashing conclusion with Icky Mettle‘s “Slow Worm”. With its repeated refrain, “And nobody’s counting, because everybody’s fine. And everybody’s buying it cause everybody’s blind,” Bachmann led the band through an ear-splitting jam that had the wall-to-wall crowd at Warsaw flowing back and forth like seaweed in the surf. The band would come back out for a four-song encore to the delight of the packed room. Finishing off the night with the slow dirge burner “All Hail The Black Market” from the 1994 EP Vs. The Greatest Of All Time. And just like that the night was over. Hopefully, it won’t take as long for Archers Of Loaf to return next time around.

Weird Nightmare Slideshow

Archers Of Loaf Slideshow

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