Erase Errata – Washington – Rock and Roll Hotel, DC – 2007-04-09

Erase Errata
Where: Washington – Rock and Roll Hotel, DC.

When: 2007-04-09

Parts and Labor opened the show with tons of energy and a fantastic performance. With a mix of old and new songs – drawing about half of the material from the seminal Stay Afraid – the band careened through its set. If you’ve heard the studio versions of the songs, you know that Parts and Labor packs a lot of intensity into its songs. Combining squawking electronics with bass, guitar, and rapid-fire drumming, the band’s sound stands apart from the others in the landscape of post-punk and indie rock.

I was interested to see how the live show would compare to the recordings, especially when it came to the tracks from Stay Afraid. How would the musicians be able to keep up the intensity? Surprisingly, not only did they do so, but they all seemed pretty relaxed all the while. We watched the drummer adjust his set, replace sticks, take drinks, help with cords that became unplugged, and even stand while playing – not between songs, but actually while playing. Not to mention that he’s a phenomenal player who knows how to keep his parts imaginative while never forgetting how to rock.

Parts and Labor functions as a single unit on stage and delivered live what you hear on the records. The band will be touring to support the new release Mapmaker and you’d be doing yourself a favor to check them out. They deserve to be headlining this next round of dates.

The band Adult played next but I didn’t get much a chance to see the set. From the parts I saw and heard, though, I couldn’t make out whether they were serious or whether the whole thing was some sort of put-on. It was like stepping back to the 80s for the duo’s goth-like aspirations. Sandwiched as Adult was between two stars of the post-punk world, I’m not sure whether the band quite fit with the energy of the evening.

Erase Errata followed up with another batch of intricate but spare post-punk. Looking like two librarians and a rocker, the band members played their angular songs with passion. There wasn’t much chatter between songs but the band had some sort of innate rapport with the audience. They burned through song after song to the delight of the crowd. The band’s sometimes-polemic messages can be more easily made out on the recordings, and I’m not sure whether the uninitiated in the crowd would’ve caught on. But longtime fans must’ve gotten more than their money’s worth from the live performance.