October 13, 2013

That Was The Show That Was | Grooms with Young Adults, Chandeliers, Vegans | Great Scott | 9 Oct.

[PHOTOS: Quinn Banford, special to Clicky Clicky] It's fun to witness the give-and-take between the two preposterously fertile music scenes of Allston and Brooklyn. Grooms, a notable dream-pop trio based in the latter, have played the former a fair amount on bills spangled with local luminaries. Wednesday night at the venerable Great Scott was no different. There the Brooklyn combo bowed a national tour intended to promote its shit-hot new record, Infinity Caller, slotted third in a bill top-lined by Boston-bred heavyweights Young Adults. The mysteriously small crowd that materialized early were treated to opening sets from Vegans and Chandeliers.

Grooms wasted no time hitting their stride, and pumping out should-be hit after should-be hit at a remarkable rate. Fronter Travis Johnson joked from the stage about ingesting great speed just prior to the quartet's set, and, yes, Heisenberg, it was blue. Too soon, indeed. Grooms opened with "Lion Name," much to our delight, and thereafter continued to bring the proverbial and literal noise. Perhaps they were feeding off the energy they knew Young Adults would bring later, or maybe they were extra stoked to be launching the tour, but whatever the reason these dudes really rocked the fuck out. On record Grooms exhibits substantial restraint, but on Wednesday its music was chaotic, explosive and enshrouded in distortion. All of this made the live presentation of new album-highlight "I Think Were Alone Now" even more awesome.

We missed openers Vegans, but did arrive in time for Chandeliers, whose too-brief time on stage was light on banter and heavy on electrifying, math-y rock. Maybe a little *too* heavy at first, as fronter Dan Coulson ripped straight through a string during the trio's very first number. Chris Villon from YA was quick to supply a loaner, however, and the rest of the set went off with nary a hitch. An interesting aspect of Chandeliers' live sound is the treatment that clothes Mr. Coulson's vocals. The sound is distorted and makes his voice sound as if it is coming through a payphone, adding a singular dimension to the oft-busy arrangements.

Young Adults, as is their usual practice, decisively ended the evening with an eardrum-eviscerating performance. It's no secret, of course, that they are very loud -- like "ears ringing for the next business week" loud. But fans know the threesome's shuddering racket isn't simply noise for noise's sake, however: anthemic jams reside breathe from beneath the sludge. The band played tunes from its Born In '91 EP as well as plenty of old jams. Despite battling some serious sniffles, the aforementioned Mr. Villon and his merry men were reliably intense, and blared punk-gaze stompers well into early Thursday morning. -- Dillon Riley

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