Concert Review: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Bent Shapes, Bugs and Rats @ Middle East Upstairs (9/9/12)


Artists: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Bent Shapes, Bugs and Rats
Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)

Comments:

Act I: Bugs and Rats– These motherfuckers diminish what is left of my eardrums, which is great. Bugs and Rats are a powerhouse band, a three piece that is LOUD and guaranteed to wake up the neighbors. They would serve as a terrific alarm clock, I must say. I’ll admit much of the music I listen to is of the “wimpy” variety so I’m not as big into Bugs and Rats, but damn they are a solid band and they rock pretty hard. Their music is easy to head-bang to – in fact I would find it hard not to. Though it’s not necessarily my cup of tea, I can definitely recommend it. I also admire the band’s overall enthusiasm, which makes this performance even more fun. The drummer looks like he is going berserk! Lastly, I notice there is a picture of Anne Frank on the guitarist’s guitar, I do not know why, but I find this interesting. I mean I think it is Anne Frank. Either it is her or I am a fucking idiot.
Go nuts http://bugsandrats.bandcamp.com/


Act II: Bent Shapes–  So, y’all know Bent Shapes were formerly known as Girlfriends, right? Alright good. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen this band since they opened for Harlem at Great Scott back in April 2010, so it is a real pleasure to see them tonight.  I was always struck by their music before and I have been meaning to see them again for quite some time now, but for whatever reason it just never worked out. Fortunately, tonight is my night and I get a chance to see this excellent band.  Bent Shapes definitely has some outstanding pop hooks and they remind me of one of my favorite bands, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.  I also hear a lot of pop punk a la Wavves in their music. Glen concurs on this point. Without a doubt my favorite moment is when they play “I Was Here, But I Disappear,” a favorite of mine. Not just a favorite from the band, but one of my favorite songs of all time. I did not expect them to play this song at all, so this is a real treat. Admittedly, I need to listen to more of their material and I plan to. You should too! http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/

Set List:
Public
Brat (“Brat Poison”)
Panel (“Panel of Experts”)
Bites (“Bits and Scratches”)
Big M (“Big Machines”)
Space
Bhead?
Disappear (“I Was Here But I Disappear”)
Hex (“Hex Maneuvers”)
Leave (“Leave It Till You Need It”)
Boys (“Boys to Men”)


Act III
: Plateaus– Before tonight’s performance I have never heard of Plateaus, but now I am convinced they are a sound band and I plan on checking out their music. Their songs are not as stripped down and catchy as those of Bent Shapes, but they keep up the same power pop/ pop punk sensibility. I am also feeling some strong garage vibes and in this way I can see them fitting well with the kind of music we typically champion on KLYAM. Their set is definitely fun and gets me pumped up for Colleen, even more so than I already was. http://plateausband.bandcamp.com/


Act IV
: Colleen Green– Before I start my little babbling, I am going to take a mini trip back to April 2011. April 29, 2011 to be exact. Glen and I had had little exposure to basement venues (a couple of shows in Lowell and that was about it) and so when we arrived at the Starlab in Somerville to see one of Ottawa’s finest, The White Wires, we were a bit perplexed. As I recall we paid the seven bucks or so for admission (which included a stamp of the word “fuck” on my hand) and then we left the venue momentarily to smoke a bowl. One of the dudes running the show caught up with us and said that it was cool for us to smoke inside. So, we did. More importantly, why am I telling this story?! What I forgot to mention was that Colleen Green was headlining this bill, but at the time we had no idea who Colleen Green was, we came to see White Wires as I had mentioned earlier. I remember sitting down Indian style in the basement of the Starlab, waiting for the band to play- actually the dudes from Luau (also on the bill that evening) were setting up their equipment and I began to aggressively converse about G.G. Allin and Charles Manson the way I often do when I’m left unsupervised. Around this time, Colleen approached Glen and me, oh and Dan, damn I forgot that motherfucker came with us, he’s the man! She sarcastically said something to the effect of “You aren’t those guys that are smoking weed are you?” She then politely introduced herself as Colleen and within seconds I began vigorously raving about my favorite bands as I tend to do if given even the slightest opportunity. I stated that my top three current favorite bands were/are 1)Black Lips 2)Deerhunter, and 3) Hunx and His Punx. This led to a brief discussion of the Hunx tune “Cruisin,” a fabulous song indeed. Alas, we weren’t able to stay long enough to catch Colleen’s set that night, but I remember thinking anyone that appreciates greats like Hunx and His Punx is worth checking out. So, I YouTube’d a few songs and live vids and I was instantly hooked. But, between 21+ shows and lack of transportation we KLYAMERS missed out on all the remaining Colleen Boston gigs :( Until now! Ahh shit, it’s 4:20 (I didn’t plan this btw) why am I still writing this? Why am I still up? I need to be awake and alert in a vapid classroom setting within four hours. Oh well. So yeah, tonight is very exciting on the account that not only do Glen and I get to see Colleen Green live for the first time, but with a whole band including members of Plateaus. The Colleen Green Band opens with a cover of the fine Descendents tune, “Good Good Things,” before moving into what may just be my favorite Colleen number “I Wanna Be Degraded,” goddamn that song is catchy! The whole set is spectacular. Colleen can be pure rock ‘n’ roll and totally mellow all at once. It’s like she doesn’t have to shout, but you can hear every little nuance of her vocals. I don’t know what I’m talking about- to quote a friend of mine-“I don’t know art, but I know what I like!” One of my other favorites is “Dance the Night Away,” a killer tune that surely stood out as one of 2011’s finest. Colleen and crew close the set with “Nice Boy (I Want A),” another classic that leaves me in great anticipation for tomorrow night’s performance in Lowell. I can’t wait! http://colleengreen.bandcamp.com/

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