To kick off their tour for the forthcoming Running Back LP, Weed lit up Zulu Records on February 5 with their signature muddy punk sound. Teenagers to fans in their 50s crammed the aisles of Zulu Records wearing everything from spiked bracelets and black lipstick to American Apparel hoodies and Louboutins.
Opening was Seattle band So Pitted, who snatched the attention of scattered music junkies scouring for records with their ear-splitting sound check. Their set delivered raw, metal-laden punk full of attitude. Supersonic beats and piercing sounds altered the mood from song to song as the discordant feedback kept the feeling alive. They wrapped up the set with extremely harsh reverberation and singer/guitarist/drummer Nathan Rodriguez yelling, “I’m so fucking full of hate!”
Weed then took the stage and their namesake’s smell filled the room as well. When I first saw them, what struck me was how different all of them were; the way they moved and dressed. But as they began to play their music, I saw the interconnection between them for the passion of the music they were producing. And the all ages, immensely dissimilar crowd seemed to find a common ground as they moved to the thick grunge noise that had no fixed rhythm.
The instrumentals were so overpowering that they buried Will Anderson’s vocals, probably intentionally. The feedback between sets muffled the crowd’s applause and cheers. Hugo Noriega moved with the music, twisting with every strum of his bass. The contagious energy from the music fueled the crowd as they began to bounce their heads while guitarist Kevin Doherty swayed in the background, usually not facing the crowd. In the back, drummer Bobby Siadat gave an energetic and adrenalized performance. The band concluded their show after a short set of seven songs, leaving the audience in awe.
During the set, I continuously asked myself what exactly it was about this disjointed wall of noise that made it enjoyable. A couple times I even questioned if it was all a dream. Was it the blasting loud punching beat? The long screech of the guitar between sets? The scarcely heard vocals? The few guys in my peripheral vision head banging to every beat?
I honestly couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is that – through all the sloppiness and craziness – Weed’s set worked.
They’re not your conventional new wave Vancouver band. Their harsh sounds could scare or discomfort some people and definitely is not for everyone. But under all of the feedback and noise was something different, and throughout the gritty and intense performance the raw aspect of their music shone through, captivating everybody in the room with their individuality.