When photographing a show, it’s generally a good idea to take pictures of more than just the frontman. If you’re shooting Talking Heads, you should get a few shots of Tina Weymouth, Jerry Harrison and Chris Franz in there. But with Liars, you can’t. Aiming your camera at anyone other than Angus Andrew is a colossal mistake, because there’s never been a group whose personality is so thoroughly dominated and dwarfed by the lead singer as Liars. This isn’t so much a dig at Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross as much as it is a tribute to Andrew’s outright insanity on stage. [Click here to jump to pictures of Angus Andrew and crew.]
Team Robespierre tend to exemplify the opposite range of this spectrum, in which it’s hard to pick a static figure to focus on with everyone in the band frenetically getting in each other’s faces while spraying the front rows with saliva and surfing over their hands. Was the pool too big for their antics or was it the other way around? Security had to stop them on two separate occasions from beckoning friends and fans to rush the stage. Either way, they managed to yank their vocal mics from their xlr cables more than once, break a drum mic (only once) and generally rouse a hot, lazy Sunday crowd into an early stupor… [Click here to jump to pictures of Team Robespierre.]
…before Fuck Buttons dense electronic/loop-based music could rest like a hazy film over the increasingly baked cement and brick exteriors of the pool. It was a nice intermission between the two more performative acts of the day, with the duo’s range of distorted toys and sampled music box/synthesizer melodies coupled to its spatter of live drum sequences and unintelligible, harshly filtered vocalizations. Our guess as to their wide public acclaim is that they distill a lot of the looping and noise tendencies of stranger acts into something that’s melodic and still reminiscent of things like shoegaze and post punk. [Click here to jump to pictures of Fuck Buttons.]
One more Jelly show down, many more to come.