No Age – Washington – Black Cat, DC – 2008-11-12

No Age
Where: Washington – Black Cat, DC.

When: 2008-11-12

It was a cold night and an odd bill. Five bands/DJs decidedly split into dance and indie-rock camps. Abe Vigoda and No Age represented the rock side of things.

Abe Vigoda, in case you couldn’t tell from the name, don’t take themselves too seriously. The band members do take their music seriously, however, and they came to have fun and to rock. The band’s unconventional songs translated well to the live setting because they center on a kind of manic energy that works best on stage.

Despite there not being a single standard backbeat on the whole new LP or in the live set, Abe Vigoda made people move. The stoicism of the front-and-center bass player was countered by the frenetic playing of the guitarist/singers flanking him. The between-song banter brought levity to everything the band did, proving that the band was here to have fun and enjoy the show. No posturing.

In case you haven’t heard the band’s music, it’s all off-kilter rhythms and discordant churning guitars, like early Oxford Collapse crossed with Ponytail basically. Really good, original, artistic stuff, and especially good to see in concert.

After a DJ set, No Age took the stage. By this time the crowd had thickened quite a lot and the audience seemed to know the band’s material. There was moshing to the duo’s short bursts of noise (songs). Perhaps the most interesting bits of No Age’s set were the ambient guitar interludes, where it became clear that the band’s talent doesn’t stop at Minuteman-length strafing. While these breaks gave the active audience members a chance to catch their collective breath, they gave a glimpse into the other directions No Age’s guitarist may take in future releases.