Sunday, October 16, 2016
White Lung played Villain
White Lung are on tour in support of their great album Paradise which came out this spring. After Market Hotel lost their ability to host shows, things shifted to the industrial space of Villain.
White Lung are a hardcore band at heart, but their style and aesthetics make them more aligned with bands aiming for the arena status. Their demeanor is straight professional and they take their art seriously, never catering to others and doing everything in their power to deliver their message. Paradise, which dropped this past May, saw the band shift away from their more underground and in-your-face style punk for something more melodic and inline with 90's-era alt-rock. Sure, their riffs still shred, and their drum beats still blast, but their music has more of a shoegaze/dream-pop sheen than ever before. Mish Barber-Way still takes the reigns of the group like she always has and leads her band through a furious set of high-speed punk rock, but their approach is still more tight-knit and polished than most others in their scene. The band jumped right into the party with "Face Down" off 2014's Deep Fantasy and proceeded to run through a slew of hits at a lightning fast pace. Anna-Marie Vassiliou's powerhouse drumming never once let up and Kenneth Williams' relentless riffs created a surge of energy that kept the band flying high for nearly an hour. Barber-Way's eccentric antics as a front-woman are equal parts Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop, grabbing the crowd and reeling them in with her mesmerizing glares and wild gestures. As the night carried-on, things intensified in the crowd as a pit kicked-up, but even the glossy new single "Below", which is a wild and welcomed departure from anything they've done before", still saw the crowd going crazy. "Below" is a track that feels like it could find its way to rock-radio and still never damage the reputation of this great band. Their energy is pure and their motivation and messaging is everything needed in music. Barber-Way doesn't scream like she did in the past and these new tracks are without question the most accessible in their repertoire, but on-stage they're just as vital and empowering as ever before and their ability to spark the crowd remains firmly intact. Barber-Way is still a meaningful voice in feminist-punk and willing to lead her band through anything that comes their way. Hopefully, the thing that comes their way is their destiny fulfilled with greatness and prominence.