The Mae Shi prove its star power and Les Savy Fav explore the entire venue. John Dwyer does some drugs, too.
You could feel it in the audience: it had been an exhausting week. People filtered in casually for The Drums, a John Dwyer (the Oh Sees) project, electing to golf clap and chuckle uncomfortably as Dwyer dedicated songs to his Canadian coke dealer and professed that doing music this shitty on drugs was a poor decision.
The Drums is essentially The Oh Sees with only drums. Dwyer and partner Ezeetiger pound at the skins in fury, chanting into the shittiest pawnshop mics they could find. Dwyer often had the entire mic in his mouth as he spit and choked through unintelligible lyrics. I do not doubt for one minute that Dwyer was on several drugs. The Drums set was part war path part screwball meditation, mostly raw as fuck.
I don't think The Mae Shi have stopped touring since it released HLLYH last year. Will Deitz might have dubbed the Smell kids in the upper echelon of noise punks, but it's still been DIY venues, in front of other scummy punks. Hell, the last time I saw The Mae Shi was in a warehouse in Oakland.
Opening for Les Savy Fav at The Mezzanine in San Francisco at Noise Pop Festival is a career-propelling opportunity, if that's the sort of thing they want, or see it as. I get the feeling the group was aware, as it pulled out all the stops, and the L.A. boys undoubtedly won new fans. Whether it was the undeniable catchiness of someone hearing “Run To Your Grave” for the first time, the giant parachute, or the lovable sing-a-long to “I Get (Almost Everything) I Want,” The Mae Shi have proven themselves a hundred times over to its core audience, but Sunday night might have bumped them up into opening for Bloc Party territory. I'm sure they're getting psyched up for it as we speak.
Les Savy Fav never disappoint and Sunday night was no exception. Harrington rocked the party that rocked our bodies. No words needed, just enjoy the madness: