Last Saturday night in the beautiful smoky cave that is Siberia on Saint Claude, some 200 people gathered to hear music. The tone was set when the singer for the first band, CCR Headcleaner, a thin girl who looked like a Tumblr post with 100,000 notes, took a few drags from her cigarette and threw it into the crowd. This group was a very interesting endeavor, all their songs unlikely successes. The sound was very drum heavy with vocals sung right under the notes but with such confidence it made you second-guess your own ears, maybe you were just hearing them wrong.
The guitarist donned a long blonde wig soon after taking the stage which (coupled with his ripped jeans and bare chest) lent a very hair metal feeling to the whole thing. Each song a verifiable cacophony, it was hard at times to extract specific lyrics, but there was no missing the last line of the third song which ended, "I guess I'll just fuck your brother." They were fun to watch and even though there was a small crowd everyone was very involved in the performance.
The second opener was a local group, Babes, who killed. Their keyboardist was an amazing performer, from applying glitter in broad smears to his face on stage, to wrapping himself in a gold lame sheath, to jumping into the audience and letting the crowd push him around at their whim. Speaking of audience physicality, the mosh pit was immediate and inevitable with this band, like a beautiful and instantaneous chain reaction. The keyboardist infused the performance with a humor absent from the other performances of the night with his audience asides. He intro-ed a couple of songs with playful sarcasm: "This next song is about how I feel" or "This is our slow song." At one point near the end of their set someone in the audience yelled, "Tell us about Breaking Bad!" and without missing a beat he yelled back, "Walt dies." This set was super high frenetic energy, the type of music that seems to punch you in the face.
Then it was FUZZ! The band set up a disco ball to project rainbow dots of spinning light onto the crowd which made the room feel more intimate, but when they started playing, it felt like we were in a stadium. The sheer power of the sound was formidable. The moshing continued, even more vigorously than before. Lyrics seemed almost ancillary; the beast of the music seemed to be the focal point. Many songs employed a driving bass and metronomic cymbals. A whirlwind from start to finish, interrupted only every so often by the epileptic flash of a high powered camera, the set was fast paced and seemed very short. However, FUZZ played with a sustained intensity that was both impressive and exhausting to watch. The audience respected this, they responded with their own performance: yelling, dancing, and one girl even crowd-surfed, a feat in itself given the locale. Overall an intensely fun show! -Julie Mitchell