A girl walked through the glass doors of the Gate Red with difficulty, for it wasn’t indicated whether to push or pull. As she finally stumbled into the fluorescently lit entrance, she was handed some condoms and lube, and thought to herself, “This is going to be an interesting night!” Ducking through a rickety door frame, she left the harsh glow behind her and was greeted by a dim room filled with groups of people mingling about.
She made her way towards BB, the band already performing. Their performance was a great way to start off the night with their contagious energy and fantastic hair. There was Megan, the talented bass player, sporting some dope multi-directional bangs; a singer named Bella, whose voice wailed out from behind another set of bangs; and in the back: Seth Rogen. No, she was mistaken, for the intense drummer, Alex, was merely a Seth Rogen doppelgänger. Alex’s lack of bangs was compensated by the epic, steady beat he was keeping at the rear of the stage. Though the disappointment she felt by his lack of cool bangs was incalculable, BB still somehow managed to make the show worth attending.
DUMB came on stage next. The girl chuckled to herself, as the lead singer pulled a crumpled piece of paper out of the breast pocket of his white button-down to read a funny love poem of sorts. DUMB combined classic punk shoutiness with minimal scuzz, catchy melodies and sing-along vocals reminiscent of Cap’n Jazz or even modern lo-fi indie along the lines of Car Seat Headrest. The girl joined the crowd as she put her drink down to jump around and dance to the chafing, vexed vocals and distorted guitar that cyclically subsided to calmer spoken lyrics all while maintaining a fixed rhythm.
Then the headliners came to the stage: Pale Red. It was time for the release of their new album, Soft Opening. The excited girl listened as they played through the entirety of their new record. While Soft Opening did away with much of the sloppy, shouty, lo-fi nature of their debut 2015 un-titled ee pee, it also lost a significant measure of charm, with most every song being par-for-the-course on the more abrasive side of indie. The speakers pulsated with “ba-ba-ba” sing-alongs and crisp, clean guitars where their debut utilized monosyllabic shouts and a fuzzy layer of rough-edged guitars. Additionally, their new album used more standard song structures and concepts (often for the better), rather than the no wave weirdness of their EP.
As the sound waves rippled away from the stage, it was clear that this group of skillful artists have a lot of untapped talent. Even with such enjoyable and high energy shows, the girl could tell that the band still can improve upon their unique brand of rock. Pale Red excellently utilized unexpected swells of building tension, followed by low rumbles turned even heavier through the amplification, while the girl danced about under the colorful lights, a deep sea sunset, throughout the dark of the night.