Ceremony were not the headliners for this show – that was Titus Andronicus – but they were the band I liked best. The first opener was Lemuria, who were pleasant but didn’t really turn my crank, and as for Titus Andronicas, I just wasn’t feeling it this time. Everyone else was having the best possible time and losing their collective minds, though, so I think it was me, not them.
Ceremony was a surprise in a number of ways. First they were American punks when I had been expecting British goths1 – some day I will learn to read band bios before shows – and second, the previously placid pit exploded the moment their first note sounded.
The reason most of the pictures are a little bit blurry is because the floor beneath me was vibrating from the force of the audience’s enthusiasm. I was mainly hanging on to the barrier as tightly as I could and occasionally ducking stage divers.
Their music is ferocious and beautiful. It sounds like both the end and the beginning of the world, and like something complex and spiky being annealed in the blue core of a fire.
1 Essentially I had conflated their influences – Joy Division – and a wide array of cultural echoes – a song by Joy Division, a record by The Cult, a long-running club night in Boston, all also called Ceremony – and thought they were a first or second-wave goth band that doesn’t actually exist.