I've seen Thee Oh Sees a few times before, and they never disappoint, but I was most looking forward to seeing Melbourne quartet quintet Total Control, who just released Henge Beat on Seattle's Iron Lung Records (I wrote about it here).
In this post, drummer/guitarist/Ralph Lauren fan Lars Finberg declared, "Total Control are the best band in America right now, only they are from Australia."
Like their Bay Area brethren, they did not disappoint, though I was surprised that TOS* didn't come out for an encore (to compensate, Finberg made a guest appearance during their set). Below: a few shots of singer/keyboard player Dan Stewart, as well as opener Grave Babies, who reminded me of a non-lysergic Teardrop Explodes (Danny Wahlfeldt also opts for an unnaturally low register).
From my vantage point, I wasn't able to capture the other members of TC, including their shit-hot drummer (well, I did snap a shot, but it didn't turn out).
* I never got close enough to get a picture of John Dwyer, et al.
Hardly Art act Grave Babies also open for Thee Oh Sees and Total Control tonight at Portland's Doug Fir Lounge. In their own words, "All the songs are about death and human tragedy."
Dan Stewart tends to do this thing where his eyes roll back in his head. It's freaky-cool, but I wasn't able to preserve the moment. I'm sure there'll be more opportunities in the future.
I prefer band logos myself, but Stewart makes the plain, white t-shirt seem like the best option.
Souvenir purchased directly from the band. Thee Oh Sees drummer Mike Shoun was wearing one of the other shirt designs, as was my friend, Tim, who introduced me to Derek Erdman, the man behind some of the great tunes between sets.