Bands rocking the Union
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 15:10
A mix of superheroes, cartoon characters, demonic psychopaths, and an array of other colorful characters turned out at the Student Union ballroom for what would be a thrilling Saturday night of live music at the annul WHUS “Mischief After Dark.”
The Groomers, a “garage punk” band from New Haven, opened the show ripping through two minute blasts of punk rock passion covered in a distinct 90’s indie rock aesthetic, reminiscent of early Pixies. “I hate myself, I hate my friends” was screamed in unison by the trio, as students waved in front of the stage to the band’s mantra. The band ended in a chaotic fashion, squealing and grunting as they furiously threw up an explosion of guitar riffs coated in reverb and messy drum fills.
A modest mosh pit formed for the Texas via New York outfit, Parquet Courts. Built from his departure of the band’s Fergus & Geronimo, and Teenage Cool Kids, Andrew Savage and his three band mates played a half hour of post-punk bliss. Their southern guitar twangs and David Byrne-style vocals found on their debut LP, “Light Up Gold,” which they were selling on vinyl, filled up the high ceilings of the ballroom.
In between sets, the event’s organizer Jules Lefèvre hosted the costume contest. The winner was based on the loudest cheers from the audience. A group of friends dressed up as characters from the film and infamous board game Clue, Marge from the Simpsons, and a blue spider man wearing jeans were among the highlights of dressed up students who stretched across the stage. Marge Simpson, a male student who was plastered in yellow paint waering her iconic blue mop of hair, rang victorious.
Lemonade, an electro-pop trio from New York warmed up the ballroom for the final act. The iconic underground noise-rock duo Providence, Rhode Island’s Lightning Bolt. Formed in 1994 by drummer Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson, they released their debut, self-titled album in 1999. Their set was performed on ground level to the left of the main stage, for an intimate affair. Chippendale’s drum set was covered in paint and looked like it had been thrown off a balcony at some point in it’s existence. Four massive amps backed the duo and speakers covered orange and red spray-paint produced an unsettling amount of distortion and effect pedals made for a gigantic sound. Gibson and Chippendale made this furious yet transcendent wall of noise using only a bass with three low bass strings and two guitar strings and Chippendale’s microphone, which was laced in heavy reverb and distortion. His microphone was tied under his iconic red mask that was covered with gold designs. The manipulation of the sound of his voice sounded like a siren blaring, which he created by changing the levels on his distortion pedal with his left foot while the rest of his body dismantled his kit. The audience formed a circle around them while they went through their discography that has spanned the last decade and has led them to be notoriously brutal and loud in the underground scene.
Parker Wilcox, a 5th semester molecular and cellular biology major said that the intense racket they made was “cathartic, it was like a religious experience.”
After the show Chippendale, who said to the music “probably sounded big,” due to the ballroom’s structure.