Squid brought their killer live show to Bowery Ballroom for their first of two shows in New York City in 2022 as they continue to support last year's awesome Bright Green Field.
"We just had dinner over there in Little Italy and we saw Bobby from The Sopranos! Doesn't get more New York than that, does it? Well, maybe this I guess?" I'm not sure a Squid show feels very New York, but seeing the band tackle Bowery Ballroom certainly made for a great night out as the rising English quintet brought their frantic, wiry, and angular guitar tones to Manhattan for an onslaught of muscular tunes that ripped with tight precision and still got a huge pit to cover the distance of the floor. Like their peers in black midi, Dry Cleaning, Wet Leg, and Black Country, New Road, the group has been gaining fervor as one of the most important bands in this striking UK scene. Their artful display of mathy, rhythmically complex post-rock, which hits with directed and impactful aggression, comes to life on stage in new ways as the band can slowly finesse each track into existence, allowing moods to build vs take effect instantly like they do on record. Lined up on stage with their drummer and lead singer, Ollie Judge front and center, the band is flanked on each side with each member fully devoted to their specific assignments and watching them feels like watching scientists going to work. Carefully tuning their instruments and angling their mics to the right degree, it was apparent how much thought and time the band put into their performance and watching it come to life, it was clear where the band had enacted their loose jams before transitioning into a dialed-in approach which highlighted their extreme care. Throughout the night, the band conjured incredible tension, the songs piecing themselves together as the band seamlessly operated on stage to create such magic. As tracks hit their breaking point, Judge's scream took the intensity up and the crowd let loose, crashing into each other with force and chaos as the ultimate form of release. "Paddling" was an early hit in the night and "Pamphlets" got the crowd to kick things into gear, but it was chants for "GSK" which kept the night moving. When the band finally unleashed it, the night erupted and the night hit its peak. Drawing from free-jazz, no wave, and punk rock avant-guards, their role in their scene feels as inspiring and important as ever and as leaders of the pack, it'll be an adventure to see where they go next.