Due to circumstances that were my fault but also unavoidable (not really sure about the math on that one), I missed Hounds of the Wild Hunt AGAIN. When I see things like this,* I realize my foremost show-going mission is to see them. In other Hounds of the Wild Hunt news, the dudes keep telling me about this mythical live record. Here is my suggestion: Do this thing.
Onto Ceremony, who I am sad to report were a serious disappointment live. My roommates can attest to the fact that when Zoo came out, I couldn't stop cranking it on my boom box, even when they were trying to go to sleep. Last night, though, it sounded like they put that record on quaaludes and then sent out some people who didn't give a shit about it to play the songs for half of an hour. "These guys are frauds," my guest, who we'll call Rossjam™, said. "The guitarist looks bored," he added, just after I'd written those exact words in my notes. Confidential to front guy: I'd rather hear you belt that shit out than watch you put your shirt over your head, exposing your stomach tat, and then repeatedly give the crowd "crazy eyes." Still, when they broke out their older stuff, I'd never seen dudes crowd surf over such an anemic pit; those motherfuckers were dedicated. Maybe it was just an off night.
One song into Titus Andronicus' set, it was clear we were watching a band operating on the other end of the give-a-shit scale. Without getting into the details, the set was pretty glorious. These are just dudes in shabby t-shirts doling out fist-pumping anthems you can caw along to. By the time they broke into "Titus Andronicus Forever," the second song off 2010's excellent the Monitor the crowd was at a fevered apex, but maybe I say that just because I wasn't able to resist the impulse to squeeze my janky old torso up to the front row. (This time I was wise enough to hold onto my glasses.) And the way they ramped up those last few songs was true showmanship. When you're finale is that great, you don't need an encore. The end.
*Technically, that video is of the Whore Moans, but it's the same people, save for the drummer, who has been replaced by Doug Krebs the Friendly Sound Guy™.