At the risk of being hated by a substantial amount of early-’90s rock fans, let me first say that this concert was difficult for me to enjoy. During the show, after blatantly lying about his annual income to a women way past her prime, a mid-thirties assclown in a tight Rock & Republic t-shirt was jumping on my foot and almost knocked over my camera three times. I may be a big guy, but this guy had serious signs of steroid use in his neck veins, so I tried to make due. Anyways, on with the show.
Telekinesis opened, and they showed two sides of their music. One side was the pleasing combination of heavy rifts and well sung melodies (such as the song “Coast of Carolina”) and the other side was the awkwardly out of place acoustic noodlings of drummer Michael Benjamin Lerner. Telekinesis honestly had the audience by the balls, until Lerner took too long to move from his drum set to the front of the stage, to play on his acoustic guitar and try to get his folk-on, but sadly he failed at that. “I Saw Lightning” was a bore. Audience chatter grew louder and louder, and he simply lost the crowd. Thankfully bassist Jason Narducy and guitarist Cody Votolato rescued him and the crowd was given another taste of decent bar rock. A word of advice Lerner, stick to being a bad-ass drummer/lead singer, and leave the acoustic guitar in your bedroom to be used as a deal-sealing panty remover once you get big enough to have groupies.
During the intermission, I found a nice spot right at the front of the stage and waited patiently for Superchunk, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of energy that forty-something-year-olds still had in their bones. At 43, Mac McCaughan’s voice hasn’t lost any of its youthful angst. Touring with their first studio album since 2001’s Here’s to Shutting Up, Superchunk performed plenty of their old hits to a very responsive crowd. “Let It Go” and “Slack Motherfucker” were the songs that had Mr. Tight T-shirt bumping into me the hardest. I would have expected them to play more songs off of their latest album Majesty Shredding, but they still played some such as “My Gap Feels Weird.”
Even if you’re not a fan of Superchunks’ music (I would agree their sound is an acquired taste, and I’m sure you would appreciate it more if you weren’t three years old when the band formed), you’d still have to appreciate them for their talent, their longevity and their stamina! They played two encores! One of them had drummer Jon Wurster jumping into the audience covering Glen Danzig.
Superchunk set their energy bar very high, and not once did it feel like it dropped. I expected nothing less from the founders of one the most influential independent music labels in the business. Their fans came out in flocks, and they delivered.