Friday, July 15, 2011

Photos: OFF!/Superchunk @ House of Vans

Superchunk @ House of Vans - July 14th, 2011

Though the line was ridiculously long showing up to 25 Franklin Street, the location where Vans and promotors FYF are holding their House of Vans shows this summer, once I made it into the space it was clear that it was large enough to house a shitload of people. The venue remained pretty empty through opener Lumeria's set, a band who are obviously influenced by Superchunk, and who had their share of fans in the crowd. A tight trio for sure, and worth checking out in the future.

But once OFF! took the stage, the band that are responsible for taking hardcore punk back to its roots in the greatest way possible, the place went apeshit. Keith Morris, former Black Flag and Circle Jerks frontman, has the charisma and vocal chops at the ripe age of 55 that every young aspiring punk rock singer could only wish to have an ounce of. Plummeting through songs off their debut album The First Four EPs, the band played "I Don't Belong," "Blast" and Morris' eulogy to his late friend, "Jeffrey Lee Pierce," in addition to many others--most clocking in at under two minutes. The supergroup, also featuring Steven Shane McDonald of Redd Kross, Dimitri Coats of Burning Brides and Mario Rubalcaba of Rocket From The Crypt, are sure as fuck one of the greatest current punk bands to see live, and I personally can't wait to see them again. Luckily at the end of their set, it wouldn't be the last we would see of Keith Morris for the night...

Superchunk took the stage at 9:45pm and opened with what just may be the greatest song Superchunk could have opened with, "Slack Motherfucker." Frontman Mac McCaughan got into his usual maniacal jumping so early on in the song that he even cut his forehead, which prompted a fan to pass a bandage up to the stage for guitarist Jim Wilbur to patch up the cut. It didn't stop them from rocking out though. Superchunk went right into "Digging For Something" off of their latest album Majesty Shredding, an album whose songs have entered the Superchunk canon as gracefully as any of their work in the '90s. The band also tore through favorites "Sunshine State," "New Low," "Crossed Wires" and "Throwing Things" with bassist Laura Ballance pogoing virtually non-stop the entire set. I also find it amusing that drummer Jon Wurster, probably one of the tightest drummers in all of indie rock, never said a word the entire show despite having one of the funniest Twitter feeds I read.

When the house lights came up, leaving the audience in a painfully bright flourescent glow, it seemed as though the crowd were being told to leave the venue. I didn't see a single person move though. After a good five minutes of chanting, the band finally returned to the stage to play "Cursed Mirror" and "Learned to Surf." But the highlight of the night came when McCaughan invited Keith Morris back on stage to sing Black Flag's "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie," prompting a ridiculously larger moshpit (larger than any other pit throughout the night) and a crowdsurfer whose primary purpose seemed to be kicking the bouncers who were trying to pull him down. Needless to say, the band sounded amazing and the crowd went psycho.

The only thing that could've topped a Black Flag cover at this point was a Misfits cover. And yeah, that's exactly what went down. Covering one of my all time favorite songs by the band, "Where Eagles Dare," McCaughan gave his guitar to roadie while he grabbed the microphone and did his very best Danzig impression, at which point everyone in the front row got crushed against the barrier (not that any of us were complaining, we were all shouting "I AIN'T NO GODDAMN SON OF A BITCH" at the top of our lungs). After Morris left the stage, Superchunk finished with the appropriately titled "Hyper Enough," off of the recently reissued Here's Where The Strings Come In. Though I wish they had played "Precision Auto" and "Mower," it didn't really matter after witnessing one of the greatest encores I've ever seen. Cheers to Superchunk, for being one of the greatest live bands you'll ever see.

Below, check out photos of OFF! and Superchunk, as well as Superchunk's setlist. Also watch a video of the band performing "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie" with Keith Morris on vocals and then "Where Eagles Dare"--apparently shot from directly inside the moshpit...



Superchunk - House of Vans - July 14th, 2011
Slack Motherfucker
Digging for Something
My Gap Feels Weird
Animated Airplanes Over Germany
Skip Steps 1 & 3
Sunshine State
New Low
Crossed Wires
Martinis on the Roof
Driveway to Driveway
Detroit Has a Skyline
Throwing Things

Cursed Mirror
Learned to Surf
Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie
(Black Flag cover) (with Keith Morris)
Where Eagles Dare
(Misfits cover) (with Keith Morris)
Hyper Enough


  1. holy shit, wish I had made it out to this