Often the best shows are the ones that cut the shit—the ones that are simply loud, cathartic rock exercises. Take No Age’s show at Pat’s Pub, for example. With only some drums and guitar, the L.A. two-piece plugged in, turned up and let loose, wasting no time on pointless bullshit or ill-conceived gimmicks. It was the songs that were important here, which definitely had enough quality to pull off this no-frills affair.
With revved-up versions of “Everybody’s Down,” “Every Artist Needs a Tragedy” and “My Life’s Alright Without You,” Dean Spunt and Randy Randall displayed in the flesh why their record, Weirdo Rippers, is one of this year’s best. The two men’s songs touched on all the right influences, which range from scrappy Swell Maps punk to skewed Pavement-like pop to formless Black Dice-inspired noise, without sounding derivative or historically plagiaristic. In fact, they’re the type of forward-thinking songs that will likely become benchmarks for future sonic comparisons. On stage, Spunt and Randall also rarely stood still as they kicked out their jams in a much rawer—not to mention louder—fashion than on disc. On the ground, this vigorous approach led to what could be described as a “pit,” where young men and women knocked each other about and caused No Age to label them as “bad ass.”
The show was perhaps a bit brief and neither opener, Shearing Pinx or Midwife, added much to the night, to put it politely. But seeing No Age do its thing on stage was enough to make the night one to remember.