The Cribs are one of the best live acts out there and on Friday night, (the 13th no less!) the occupants of Music Hall of Williamsburg got to experience this opinion transformeditself into a solidified fact.
The first act of the night was a group called Skaters, a local band that perfectly suited the shift to warm weather that New York City was currently going through that day. It was obvious to both see and hear the band’s love for The Smith’s but it was also truly incredible seeing them wear a grand amount of confidence on their sleeves and playing their set with catchy tunes filled with blistering guitar chords. The band’s front-man used his mic stand as though it was an extension of his own body and swayed his body all throughout the stage during every song.
The Hounds Below were up next and this was an act that I myself was very excited to see perform. Jason Stollsteimer (ex front-man of The Von Bondies) fronts the rock outfit from Detroit and if The Hounds Below could pull of a live show as good as The Von Bondies used to then I and everyone else at Music Hall that night were in for a real treat.. If Skaters were meant to set the tone for catchy guitar rock then The Hounds Below certainly took it upon themselves to make sure that trend continued while still standing out like a gleaming gem. Mid way through their set Stollsteimer mentioned that this was only the bands 15th gig and that certainly took the crowd by surprise as the venue was filled with faces of enjoyment and that “say what?” face only someone from Brooklyn could possibly produce. The burning question could even be heard out loud amongst crowd members during the bands set; “why haven’t I heard of this band before?”
The crowd was still cheering for The Hounds Below after their set ended; I still remember seeing the bands guitarist smiling while packing up his gear. It wasn’t long until a drunken chorus of “YORKSHIRE!” was being shouted by what resembled hipster bros in the crowd and as the lights began to dim to nothingness and without warning the three members of The Cribs took the stage. Front-man Ryan Jarman came out first and quickly stood on top of one of the monitors while wearing clothes that left me completely puzzled as I wondered to myself how it was possible they (his garments) were held together still in one piece. The first track of the night was the bands come back track “Chi-Town” a quick punk rock stomper that had enough power to cause the Brooklyn crowd to mosh; which is an accomplishment any band should feel proud about achieving. After that track finished the band instantly progressed into the fan favorite “I’m A Realist”. How anyone was able to stay on their feet is something I’m still trying to figure out but seeing The Cribs practically destroying the stage of Music Hall of Williamsburg was truly something unforgettable.
Ryan Jarman never stood at one place for longer than 30 seconds and his brothers were swift to join him in the carnage. Seeing all that energy play out was outstanding but the great contrast was how the band incorporated fan favorite songs with the new material off of their upcoming album In the Belly of the Brazen Bull. Tracks such as “Anna” and “Jaded Youth” quickly won fans over and melded well with other tracks such as “Men’s Needs” and “Cheat On Me”. Seeing the entire crowd sing along to one of the band’s earliest singles “Another Number” was as surreal of a moment one could experience at a show and seeing Ryan Jarman exert all that energy was another surreal aspect of the band’s entire set.
During the last track, “City of Bugs” Gary Jarman could be seen using his mic stand to strum his bass while rushing to his knees and shoving his bass into his amp, Ross was standing while bashing away at his drums and extremely close to kicking his kit off the stand that it stood on and Ryan was on the stage’s floor while lying on his back, spinning with his legs while still feverishly playing the ending notes to the track. With a set like that who needs a fucking encore?
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