Big Thief have recently released Capacity, their second full-length LP, on Saddle Creek, but the songs on the album belie a maturity and songcraft light years into the future. On Saturday, Big Thief played many of these new tunes to a sold-out crowd at the Black Cat.
“I believe in girls who believe in rock and roll.” So opens “& Rock & Roll” from the Austin, Texas band A Giant Dog from their third album Pile. Seeing the band take the stage at a packed DC9 Sunday night, it’s clear that they not only believe in rock and roll but embody it!
Bob Pollard at this point could rest soundly on his impressive laurels — 25 Guided by Voices albums as of this writing, spanning nearly 35 years and 100 albums in total for Pollard himself. But as Bob pointed out very clearly at the Ottobar in Baltimore Thursday night, he’s not about to just play the hits! Teamed with Kevin March (drums), Bobby Bare, Jr. (guitar), Mark Shue (bass), and Doug Gillard (guitar), and a sizable cooler filled with Miller Light and tequila, the band played a sweaty and fun set to this sold-out crowd.
There are simply bands from whose pores you can feel the joy of rocking out. The Philadelphia-raised / California-based Dave Hause, whose path was cut while in hardcore punk bands such as Step Ahead and The Curse and later The Loved ones, seems born from rock ‘n roll.
I have to admit that I’ve been waiting for this moment for the past two years, having last seen Algiers in DC in September 2015 to a small but enthusiastic audience. In a Venn diagram where you have brilliant albums in one circle and commanding live shows on the other, Algiers would be that perfect middle where the power of tracks such as The Underside of Power and Animals take on a visceral intensity on stage as demonstrated on a steamy Monday night at Black Cat’s backstage.
Katie Greer fronts Priests at Ottobar on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)
Just a hour’s drive (or less) from their home in DC (Singer, Katie Alice Greer even quipped that playing it was like staying over a friend’s house), Priests played a blistering set at the Ottobar in Baltimore Saturday night.