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Titus/Glos 9/24

Two former KSPC Blowout guests make their triumphant return to the LA area together—could it be? It was! On Thursday, Sept. 24, KSPC’s two favorite East Coast indie punk bands—Glen Rock, NJ’s Titus Andronicus and Brooklyn, NY’s the So So Glos—rocked the Echo along with local openers Radars to the Sky.

The So So Glos ripped it up with characteristic aplomb, working through the highlights of their most recent album, Tourism/Terrorism. As a college radio DJ, I hope I’m not violating any federal broadcasting regulations when I say that the part of “Throw Your Hands Up” where everyone in the crowd yells “!@#! THE F.C.C.!” is cathartic every time. You can read previous KSPC blog coverage of the So So Glos here and check out their interview on our Interviews page!

Next, Titus Andronicus took the stage to cheers, applause, and much moshing. Titus are known for their chaotic live shows, but the tricky thing about chaos is inconsistency—either you go off in a million directions and flop, or you pull together into a kind of scrappy synergy and it works. This time, it worked, and how: Frontman Patrick Stickles’ epic beard and antic, pigeon-toed delivery (with a voice once described quite aptly as “like Connor Oberst screaming from the depths of hell”); Eric Harm’s tireless attack on the drum kit; guitarist Peter Feigenbaum’s cartoon-Ramone power moves; bassist Ian Graetzer’s beatific presence amidst general mayhem. The only tests of the audience’s duly-earned goodwill came when the band invited their comedian friend, Alan, to fill in set breaks with awkward jokes. These were mercifully brief. (His impression of “Napoleon posing for his ‘goofy’ portrait” was pretty good, though. Like if instead of putting his hand in his jacket he put it in his…you get the idea.)

For the grand finale, the So So Glos (and several enterprising audience members) joined Titus Andronicus onstage for a rousing cover of Billy Bragg’s “To Have and Have Not.” (Video coverage of a previous night’s performance on the So So Blog.)

Sequentially and in tandem, Titus and the ‘Glos are a force to be reckoned with. Say what you will about the state of rock’n’roll in the 21st century, but if most bands today could muster up half as much energy, joy, and sheer commitment to their performances, we’d all be in a better place, artistically and spiritually. Perhaps the vibe of the show was best summed up by a moment I had trying to buy a shirt in my size at the merch table: “Extra small?” Patrick deadpanned, “I’ve never heard of such a thing!” You heard ‘im—go big or go home.

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Text and pictures by Rachel D.