Before going to Friday night’s show at Eclectic, I had never really heard Titus Andronicus’s music. Sure, I had heard the band’s name mentioned by both friends and various music web sites, and I had the general gist that they were a punkish band, but that was the extent of my knowledge.
With that in mind, I went to the concert expecting pretty much anything. I was able to catch the tail end of Linus—they sounded decent. The Parents also opened earlier for Titus, but I didn’t have the opportunity to hear their set (I expect it was excellent, as they normally are).
Now, on to Titus. The band came on shortly after midnight to the applause of densely-packed Eclectic. They quickly launched into thrashing guitar chords accompanied by a heavy backing of both drums and bass, while a keyboard laid down some synth overtones to further complicate Titus’s sound.
It sounded like punk music, but at the same time, seemed a lot more recognizably melodic and poppy than more hardcore styles. Patrick Stickles’ vocals did plenty to distinguish them. Although he devolved occasionally into incomprehensible screaming and shouting (the partially blown PA system didn’t help), the vocals had the same semblance of being melodic and, dare I say it, catchy. A specifically awesome moment was the chant-along slogan, “you will always be a loser” at the end of “No Future III: Escape From No Future.”
I got the impression that there were a lot of people there just like me, people unfamiliar with Titus, who were drawn to the show with the allure of a ‘hyped’ band. But on the flip side, it seemed like there were also plenty of die-hard fans in the audience, shouting out lyrics in unison with the band’s singing. The crowd moshed appropriately hard; during the show, I was punched, elbowed, pushed down, and shoved. The crowd seemed a little more violent and rowdy than normal, but most of the moshing seemed in good spirit.
After the show finished, I felt I had a good impression of Titus Andronicus. For those who are interested in pursuing them further, their recently released The Monitor is one of 2010’s better-reviewed albums. They were punk, they were indie, but they weren’t necessarily either. Whatever they were exactly, they played an awesome, fun show for Wes. The crowd loved it, and my ears left painfully ringing with approval.