Preoccupations and Metz are on a co-headlining tour and stopped in Brooklyn for their first of two NYC shows.
Preoccupations sounded rather worn and ragged as they took the stage at Elsewhere. Opening with "Bunker Buster" was a great move and helped them ease into their set which was grizzled and charred, the bass feeling extra heavy and centered. The quartet was rough around the edges and while their newer tracks glistened with layers of synth, their post-punk vibe still remained prominent, even if it was a bit faded. Frontman and bassist Matt Flegel's gravely voice sounded extra textured as he lead the band through a clanging set of bruising guitars and hostile drums. Their mood was dark, but not as sinister as they've sounded in the past, perhaps a new direction for the band, but they still felt menacing enough, even when Flegel asked for the disco ball to be turned on. Complex rhythms were still a major player and the band sounded tight, although a little flat, when working out these dense jams.
Metz ran into trouble early on in the tour when their entire van of gear was stolen, but they weren't about to let anything stop them from brining their punishing set to its full potential. Behind strobing lights and a visceral audio assault, the trio unleashed their particular brand of noise-punk that got a steady pit to last for the duration of the night. Through piercing wails of feedback and blistering walls of sound, they were relentless with their energy and produced a high octane set that more than delivered. If anything, the drums were a little padded and buried too low in the mix and didn't give the full extent of their ferocity, but the band didn't hold back. This was a pulverizing show and the band played as if everything was on the line. Older tracks like "Wet Blanket" and "Headache" were total shredders and the band ripped into them with fiery angst. Singer Alex Edkins' wicked howl was on full display, his screams slashing along with his inverted guitar tones and his rage was made him seem ready to attack. Extensive noise drones were prevalent throughout the night, but Metz closed their set with one full of feedback and heavy distortion that rang throughout the building and out on to the street. "It feels so good to be out here again. Thank you so much for coming out and supporting live music!" Edkins shouted out into the crowd at one point and it was clear how much the band was really enjoying being back on the road, mishaps and all. There's been a lot of pent up anger mixed with fear over the past year and a half and Metz did their best to provide a setting where that could all be let loose. Aside from the continuous thanks, the band didn't do much talking between songs and really let their music take center stage. There was no time to be wasted and only eardrums to be smashed. At this point in their career, there's been a steady stream of releases from the band and their sound across them all has been consistent. Seeing them smash their way through a solid set reminds you just how hard they can hit and that a decade into their career, they're just as impressive now as ever.
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