July 4, 2011
No Age / HEALTH / Cults / Ceremony played Vans House Parties
Vans kicked off their free summer concert series here in Brooklyn last week with a jam packed line-up of noisey fun. California hardcore act Ceremony kicked off the evening with their energy infused set of classic punk inciting circle pits and flying fists among other things. The aggressive growls and yells were met with pounding drums and thundering bass.
Cults were the odd band on the bill as they definitely did not fit in with the noise factor of the rest of the acts, however they were still able to fully engage their crowd even though their hopes of a circle pit of their own, never came to fruition. The expanded line-up of Cults, Manson family hair and all, brushed through their sugary pop jams meant for summer parties. New tracks such as "Abducted" and "Yeah You Know What I Mean" sounded fantastic and old tunes "Go Outside" and "Oh My God" really got people moving. While Madeline's voice is utterly amazing, the mix did not allow for their great sound to really penetrate the crowd. Some key elements were lost along the way holding back the band from making a great performance amazing.
Trance/dance/noise/punk band HEALTH served as the bridge between the pop dance-ability of Cults and the hardcore grind of No Age. The great energy brought forth by the band was equally matched by enthusiastic fans as synth undertones were upstaged by frantic drumming and swirling guitar. The rich sound provided perpetual grooves as the band powered through jam after jam culminating in their epic "USA BOYS" which proved to be the ultimate moment of their set as the crowd totally let loose showing a true blend of crowd surfing, moshing, and dancing ensuring that these guys can really draw a diverse crowd and still are able to make the most out of their truly unique sound.
It has already felt like a long night by the time No Age took the stage, however as soon as these two plugged in a second wind filled the crowd. The hard hitting Dean Spunt tore up his drum kit as he belted away each song while Randy Randall shredded away just a few steps over. The raw energy of these two really showcased their ability to rip through their oldest jams "Everybody's Down" with the same intensity as new classic "Fever Dreaming" and showed that these two are not afraid to mix old and new tracks for a set list full of punk classics in the making. The ear splitting guitar of Randall and exuberant drumming of Spunt showed a duo in prime form on the verge of being as big as they ever could have thought. The two display such a presence onstage that is hard to find amongst their peers. They blur the line of their DIY punk roots with their Pitchfork adorned present and are still able to hold true to their sound making them one of few bands that have been making consistently better albums over time.