So when I'm wrong, I'm apparently REALLY wrong.
I'll admit it. I wasn’t (until now) the world’s biggest fan of Titus Andronicus's last release, The Monitor. In fact if it hadn't been for Paul (CG contributor) constantly telling me how awesome this band really is I wouldn't have even ended up at this show.
But holy shit, am I glad I did.
Something that I think can get lost in today's world of instant access and always on media is that at the end of the day, musicians are supposed to play music. Just because you can put something out there doesn't necessarily mean you should, and if you are in a band, your job, by definition is to go out and play in front of people. And be good at it. It's a little thing that so many bands get wrong, or worse, don't care about.
But not Titus Andronicus. They f@#@ing get it.
Delivering an absolutely raging set that lasted close to 90 minutes, the band took absolutely no prisoners Thursday night. While the house wasn't completely packed there was a fervor in the eyes towards the front of the room of people that new. Like I said, this was my first time seeing the band and I was most certainly going in a skeptic. But as the first notes blew out of the band's amps I finally got it.
There’s no point to breaking down the night. Fans would just get upset at my lack of knowledge of the band and I'd just end up looking like someone who is trying to be hip, but is really sort of an idiot.
So next time.
Instead, I'll say this. Seeing Titus Andronicus Wednesday night was akin to my first experience with The Hold Steady. Sure, that’s an easy comparison, as Craig Finn in fact appears on The Monitor, but it is an apt one. What both bands do, and do almost better than anyone else, is channel the pure joy of creating/ playing music, the ridiculous high that it brings, and feed it all directly to YOU.
It's a remarkable feat of synergy when both the audience and the band are locked in on exactly the same live wire, and it doesn't happen often enough these days. I famously said (or not, because who reads this sh@# anyways) that I would probably never see a show as good as LCD Soundsystem's last performance, and this wasn't it to be sure. But I could definitely see Titus Andronicus proving me wrong in the future.
Just like there wasn't a moment Wednesday night when guitarist/violinist Amy Klein stopped bouncing, there also wasn't a moment where chief songwriter Patrick Stickles didn't look like he was ready to throw himself into the audience and just be one of us. It was one big glorious celebration of not just but band, but bands like The Replacements, Black Flag, and, I can't believe I"m typing this because I would have thought it the comparison was ridiculous before, Bruce Springsteen. It was raucus. It was vibrant. Dammit...it was just alive!
The point I'm trying to make here is that Titus Andronicus BELIEVES in what they are doing and that makes all the difference in whether your band lives or dies. If you aim to put anything less effort wise than the members of this band do then I hope, as nice as I've heard that these guys are, you never share a stage with them, because you might find yourself mildly embarrassed.
Again, Titus Andronicus believes...and now so do I.
As usual, click on any of the pictures in the piece to head over to the photo gallery for some more shots, and be sure to watch the bands performance of The Battle of Hampton Roads from the show in the video below.