Summer, it get’s hot and sticky, makes you feel a little less than human right? Vans House Parties has a cure for that this summer in the form of free concerts, free beer, and free ice-pops. When you think “free” it tends to be a lesser product but Vans has put together some serious lineups at the former warehouse and this last week was no exception.
Night Birds started the evening by throwing down some of the rawest punk I have seen in quite some time, there were no poppy choruses or fake angst as the local rockers gave away a solid set of tunes that lasted almost 45 minutes. The lead singer was reminiscent of former Dead Kennedy’s front-man, Jello Biafra, complete with snarls and funny facial gestures.
After a short break, Night Beats ambled on stage and said the worst thing a photographer can hear, “please turn the lights way down”, hearing that my heart sunk as I knew the photos would be crap but their set made up for it. Hailing from Seattle you could hear the many influences of that region in the music. It was grungy, garage-y and damn good rock and roll which started the first of many mosh-pits of the night. Not long after they took stage the sky opened up and unleashed rain and some serious thunderstorms prompting the venue to empty out the courtyard and closing the large doors. Some folks decided that being inside was not cool and went out and danced and laughed in the rain as it came down in droves while lightning bolts flew across the sky.
By the time The Black Lips took the stage the floor was packed to the gills in anticipation of the legendary live shows they put on. Mixing garage, punk, surf and a hint of old school 50’s rock n roll, the Black Lips know how to entertain and throttle a crowd into submission. As soon as the first note was struck the floor erupted into a light-hearted moshpit that would last until the lights came back on. The four piece band all took turns on singing lead throughout the night, which showed the range and versatility of each band member. After a 45 minute set, with little banter except to thank the opening bands and House of Vans the crowd emptied out onto Kent street knowing they just had one of the better moments of the early summer, and it was free.
Article by: Shayne Hanley