Monday, November 7, 2011

Live Review: Weekend @ DC9, 9/7/2011

There's not a whole lot of bands that I'd venture out to see on a stormy, rather humid Wednesday evening. In fact, this list is probably one you could tick off on two hands. But Weekend definitely, definitely makes the cut. Listening to Sports on the way downtown, lightning fingertipping across the dark hulk of cloud cover in impressive displays, a stormy night suddenly seemed the perfect and best kind of night on which to take in a Weekend show. The band's eerie, brooding creep and post-punk, snarling crawl is well-matched to Mama Nature's fit of aggressive pique.

With atmospheric, suitably moody red lighting aglow behind them, the trio of Weekend began with bite, their haunting post-punk gaze filling the room with warm, wonderfully potent noise. One thing I love about seeing Weekend live is the way the songs are distinctly even more alive than on record, more amorphous and forever changing into something unexpected yet familiar in their shifting shapes. "Age Class," a definite favorite of mine, was immense. So driving was the percussion and so gritty the guitar, that during that glorious entrapment I noted that Weekend is making a serious play to become one of my favorite live bands.

The level of greatness was brutally high, friends. "End Times" was once more a triumph, pummeling in such a pretty way. "Untitled," another favorite, was magnificent. The slight air of the gray, Mancunian angst of Joy Division that accompanies the drums was expertly enveloped by the spooky, creeping mist of the echoed vocals and slightly sinister guitar. Pitch perfect, spine-tingling goodness. Never songs fit seamlessly with the Sports content, adding a bit of danceability to the glorious gloom of Weekend's big bastard noise, taking away a slight bit of menace. But not too much. Fans of Weekend, fear not. The future looks pretty hot damn exciting. The elegant, ethereal swell of "Veil" was just about perfect, angular and mystical before breaking into a mountain of incandescent noise.

"Monongah, WV" was even faster and more agitated than on Sports, turning into such a wonderful racket indeed up there on the DC9 stage. When the gentlemen of Weekend began to play set closer "Coma Summer," I started to think that what they do, live, is probably somewhat akin to really making art. Each song is so beautiful, so intricate, and so enthralling. They are, dare I say, imperfectly perfect.

Amazingly, the DC9 soundsystem weathered the storm that is the Weekend noise, a rather impressive feat. As for the band, well, the three were totally on on this night. I wrote down the statement that they "hung, drew, and quartered it tonight." It's a sentiment that still rings true, I'd have to say. Anytime I can feel the bass reverberating all the way over to my booth fortress, it's a dang good show. I'd almost go ahead and blaspheme that I love this band even more live than on record.

mp3: End Times (Weekend from Sports)

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