Postcards from the Pit: Ceremony, Webster Hall, 12.02.12

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.

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Postcards from the Pit: JJAMZ, Webster Hall, 7/10/12

Alex Greenwald and Z Berg, during LAX

I’m putting this shot first mainly because it is my favorite from the evening. I’m fond of the song, too, even though at first Alex Greenwald + what seems to be a frilly love song = major cognitive dissonance.

But by his second verse – So I carved both our names into my pale white chest/Asked you to do the same/It seemed a reasonable request/I nearly lost it when you said yes. – things have taken a turn back towards familiar and deeply weird territory.

Overall feelings: It was a great show. They powered through a selection of tunes from their new record, Suicide Pact (out now!), including the title track, Heartbeat (now with super-creepy ’80s horror movie video!), Never Enough, Cleverly Disguised,Get What You Want and Square One, and also did an awesome cover of Elastica’s Connection.

They are on the road with the NYLON + Starbucks Summer Tour through the end of July, and after a few of their own shows will be headed out with the Superhumanoids in August. Check their … Continue reading