This is a Concert Review of No Age at Wellesley College that I wrote for our past blog Wakefield Etudiant.
Bands: Lemonade, The Beets, and No Age
Venue: Wellesley College
Date: April 2, 2009
Introduction: When the three amigos and Paul arrived at Wellesley College we searched for nearly a half hour for the music center. Slowly, but surely we reached the place we were seeking (I had to run, not cool). So, we asked to step inside, but of course we have penises and it was an all girl school, clearly not our turf. We were instructed that entrance could only be granted, if we knew someone that attended the college. Well, we did not, but with our impeccable boyish charm we were able to coax the sweet girl at the door to let us in. The show cost a mere five singles. An excellent deal by any standard.
Act One: Lemonade
Excellent dance rock meets hard rocking noise pop. This trio rocked out for sure. All three members were highly energetic, especially the drummer; it appeared as though he would smash his entire set at any second. Now, with all that being said, I don’t want to confuse readers, they are extremely poppy, but in a very endearing way. I hope to hear more of them in the future.
Act Two: The Beets
Not the Beets that Doug and Skeeter adored, but rather an early Black Lips meets Beat Happening kinda group. They meshed garage rocky, bluesy, noisy sounds (Black Lips) with 60s pop and somewhat callow musicianship (Beat Happening, but perhaps better musicianship than Beat Happening). They weren’t as good as the first act and certainly nowhere near the next act lol, but they were overall entertaining and clearly talented. I heard some hooks beneath the noise. Some flaws were the start stop thing that occurred at the beginning of the first number and most of the songs sounding alike.
Act Three: NO AGE!!!
Simply said, one of the top five greatest bands out there today. Glen, Ben, and I had the magnificent pleasure of chatting with the dynamic duo at various junctures throughout the show. We stood right between Dean’s drum set and Randy’s amps and hopped up and down, raising our arms straight in the air relentlessly as soon as they opened with “Teen Creeps,” a tune I personally requested to Randy Randal. I hopped back and forth between the mosh pit and the front where it was a bit tamer. The crowd (30 , give or take) shared in our enthusiasm and loved each song. Along with TC, they played such classics as “Neck Escaper,” “Every Artist Needs A Tragedy,” “Eraser” “Miner,” “Keechie,” “Cappo,” “Here Should Be My Home,” “Ripped Knees,” “Sleeper Hold,” “Brain Burner,” and two new songs. Unfortunately, the band did not play their triumphant anthem, “Everybody’s Down,” but what are you going to do? There was no stage and perhaps Randy thought it would be too much of hassle to find some way to do his signature crowd surfing at the end of the song. Oh well, it was still a fabulous show. Can’t complain.
Conclusion: Small Venues make the best shows! Not an absolute, but an experienced truth. As I said before, fabulous. My second favorite concert ever! and I’m sure it ranks fairly high for Glen and Ben. Grade: 10/10. I strongly recommend No Age to those who have not seen them, fan or non fan.
Editors Note: Definitely the second best show I’ve seen. The up-close and personal nature of the show contributed to its awesomeness. The fact that the group traveled out of their way to put on a show for a relatively small number of college students is simply impressive. The showmanship of Randy Randall and Dean Allen Spunt is second to none. – Glen
Here is a Concert Review of No Age Glen posted on the old blog WE about two years ago. Ohh the memories!
It’s always fun searching online for bands that play local all ages shows. Especially difficult is finding one at a small club-like venue. Not to worry for Chris, Ben, and I as we noticed No Age, an LA based noise rock band we saw back in July, scheduled to play at the Middle East Downstairs. Recalling No Age as one of the more preeminent live acts we’ve seen, we didn’t hesitate to make the journey to Cambridge on Monday night.
Act One: Silk Flowers – I didn’t really know what to expect from this trio. Judging from looks alone, I saw diversity. The guy on the left with the long hair seemed more apt as a 90s garage rock guitarist than a synthesizist (no such word, is there?). The center-man was just kind of there. That’s not a bad thing. He was doing some heavy duty rocking out and I greatly admire that. The dude on the left handling the drum machine (and singing…if we can call it that), who I figured out is Aviram Cohen, reminded me of Mr. O’Brien in his youth (not that I know what O’Brien looked like back then). The group showed flashes of potential with catchy dub beats and a tribute (or seemingly so) to the post-punk/industrial scene of the ’80s. I recall Ben comparing their music to ’70s horror music, a fairly accurate comparison. I admittedly heard more Palm (the electronic one-man band from the first No Age show) than Kraftwerk. Overall, it was quite a respectable performance for a three song set.
Act Two: Soft Circle – Guitar. Drums. Electronic Percussion. Vocals. Hiram Akira Bharoocha can literally do it all…in one song at that. He picks up the guitar and plays a one or two minute riff. He then goes over to the electronic percussion kit and mixes a string of noise. All the while he records a spacey chant. With the guitar riff, percussion noise, and vocals all on loop, he picks up his drum sticks and starts going nuts. Being able to do all of this effectively proves he is a masterful musician, but what impressed me even more were the songs themselves. They were more dub than anything else, but the heavy drum was really the kicker. Watch out for Soft Circle. That’s all I have to say.
Act Three: No Age – Words really can’t describe how good No Age is live. You kind of have to be there. Further, you kind of have to be in the front row. Starting things off with “Keechie” — an experimental and instrumental track off their 2008 highly acclaimed CD release Nouns — was a bit unexpected, but proved to be a great segue into more heavier, noise driven tunes. The crowd, rather shiftless during Silk Flowers and Soft Circle, went into an uproar as soon as Dean Allen Spunt, the drummer/vocalist, began pounding the bass drum. Randy Randall’s near flawless guitar play was an excellent complement as usual. Lesser known songs like “Brain Burner”, “Cappo”, and “Sleeper Hold” drew great crowd involvement in the form of head banging and dancing while more popular songs like “Here Should Be My Home”, “Eraser”, and “Ripped Knees” put everyone into a comfortable position to rock out and bang into each other. Two particularly awesome moments I recall were: Randy Randall playing “Eraser” right in front of me (I could’ve and should’ve memorized the chords) and an attractive female, approximately my age, dancing and throwing herself around with ease (whilst not giving any shit at all). I was a little disappointed when No Age left the stage having not played the classic “Everybody’s Down.” Of course, they came back for an encore. The first encore included Aviram Cohen on vocals singing a cover of G.G Allin’s “Don’t Talk To Me.” That was pretty much out of the blue, but awesome, and went along well with the pace of the previous set of songs. The second encore was in fact “Everybody’s Down.” This is definitely one of No Age’s better songs (Chris would argue its their best) and ended in a spectacularly awesome way — Randall crowd surfing while finishing the final minute of the song on guitar. He was thrown back on the stage and the concert ended. Amazing. Oh yeah, Aviram gave Ben and I high-fives. That was cool.
Final Comment: 3rd Best Concert Of All Time (Following Radiohead and Dinosaur. Jr/Meat Puppets/Built to Spill)
Finally, here is a review of the first No Age show we saw when we were not as familiar with the LA duo.