Sounded Good On Paper

Original Pranksters: Titus Andronicus at the First Unitarian Church

As we approached the First Unitarian Church last Thursday we drove past a large group of protesters right in front of the church. My first thought was “What the hell is going on here?” Titus Andronicus are all about social change and equality, what could these people be protesting? After parking the car and heading over to the venue we found out that it was a “Take Back the Night” protest, which would explain the chants of “Stop the rape!” I heard coming from within the church proper. I believe the protest was still going on once the doors opened and we entered the basement, where the concert was being held.

From the basement, I quickly forgot about all the commotion coming from upstairs. It was a mix of excitement, the overbearing heat and the distraction of flipping through old vinyl to discover that one gem that I didn’t know I desperately needed until I saw. Soon enough the show was starting and we were ready to rock out, after all this was the grand start to my vacation!

The first band was Frost Watson. I don’t really know anything about them, they were pretty good and played the type of punk rock that makes you think of The Offspring with all the OOOOOOooo’s and Yeah’s. I ended up grabbing their CD because I wanted to give them another listen and it turned out to be pretty cheap.

Next up was Dinowalrus, a Brooklyn based “psychedelic synth-punk” band. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t really like their set. Looking up their information on the internet, I dig their visual art style so I’m bound to give them a second chance but they’ve got a bad first impression on me. It was during Dinowalrus’ set that I went back to the merch table and grabbed the Frost Watson CD, getting back just in time to hear the end of their last song. Perfect timing!

Finally Titus Andronicus took the stage. By this point the place was a sweat box, the crowd was half-deaf thanks to the two opening bands playing at volume 11 and also pretty buzzed. People had been sneaking in bottles of beer in their backpacks to the concert and I was jealous! Titus shot out of the gate with “Future Part III: Escape From No Future” and the whole place turned into one giant mosh pit. Unfortunately for the band, Patrick broke a guitar string and it plagued the rest of the set. Borrowing a guitar from Dinowalrus, everything’s back on track. Wrong, turns out that Dinowalrus tunes their guitar very strangly, which you can’t really make out in live shows because everything is very muddy and loud. Not a good first impression at all. Despite the constant tuning issues, Titus put on a great set. We were even lucky enough to hear a new tune as well as all the songs you’d want to hear going into their concert. They even played a cover of the Sham 69 song “If the Kids are United”.

If you’ve never been to a Titus Andronicus concert, I really recommend going. I’m excited to see them again when they are supporting Okkervil River on June 3rd. My word of advice though is to bring ear plugs, especially if you don’t go to many concerts. I had forgot that the first time I saw Titus Andronicus I thought I went deaf until thinking I went deaf after this past concert.

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