The raid happened just one week before. Officers of Bushwick’s 83rd precinct stormed Market Hotel – the newly-reopened venue that, incidentally, was shut down back in 2010 for liquor license issues – and found exactly what they were looking for. With bins of booze in tow, they cleaned them out with a smile and shuttered the space once again, leaving dozens of bands without a stage in the weeks to come. One of those bands was White Lung, from Vancouver, who found their Saturday night punk show relocated to another dusky corner of Brooklyn. Thankfully, there are plenty of those.
The rockers regrouped in Villain, a warehouse-style event space in Williamsburg where, ironically, you could only buy liquor (no Coke at the bar, a formidable sin). For a big drunken party, it would have been a sweet spot – ragged brick walls, big airy rooms, industrial vibes. For a concert, though, it was an acoustic black hole. Openers Weeping Icon and Surfbort were the first bands to wrangle with the jangly reverb, and the cavernous walls seemed to emphasize the chatter of random hipsters in the crowd, more than anything. But they managed to get their attention, and that was a win for everyone.
The audience was finally focused when White Lung appeared, and the welcome was warm – especially as they wordlessly dove into their first riff, playing with much less restraint in the grungy conditions. Their fans, some of whom had been moshing together just one night before at the Duchess Says show, were quick to form the rowdy pit they desired. They were rewarded with songs from the band’s latest album, Paradise, released back in May. In an up-tempo set that barely stopped to breathe, White Lung carved out a small-show space for themselves within Villain’s walls. And a band who can do that is a band who knows what they’re doing.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley