Sometimes concert photographers shoot in the safe zone of the pit and other times we should be warned to bring raincoats, combat boots, and waterproof cases so we can ride out tidal waves of reckless energy right there on the floor. Saturday night fell in the latter category. Between the sweat-slicked musicians on stage and the juggernaut forces of crowdsurfers and frenetic dancers, together PANGEA’s Brooklyn gig was insane in the very best of ways.
The evening at Music Hall of Williamsburg kicked off with Nashville trio Daddy Issues. Tall Juan then took the stage by storm, displaying a stage presence that’s equal parts boyish charm and snarling punk rocker. The Rockaway-by-way-of-Buenos-Aires frontman grew up on a Ramones-heavy music diet. While a scuzzy garage-punk aesthetic is a cornerstone to the songs, his music is also suffused with a Latin/rockabilly vibe — he sings in Spanish as well as English, and beneath the howls and yelps, the Elvis-esque moves and fast-and-furious shredding, are songs of surprising candor, if not vulnerability. Tall Juan sings about addiction, the immigrant experience, heartbreak — all with nonstop energy and a disarming grin. You’ve got to put this guy on your must-see list, and in the meantime, check out the video for “Cuida Coches,” directed and animated by his cousin, Dante Zaballa (the song title refers to “car minders” and is dedicated to the people who live and work on the streets). And pick up Olden Goldies here.
Tall Juan set a high bar for the evening, but together PANGEA was more than up to the daunting task — their headlining set was, in a word, explosive. There wasn’t much time for stage chatter as the LA-based four-piece — William Keegan (vocals, guitar), Danny Bengston (bass), Eric Jimenez (drums), Roland Cosio (guitar) — tore through a blistering set that included songs from the recently-released Bulls and Roosters. If you’re a fan of raw garage rock coated in west coast youthful, pop-informed insouciance (think SWMRS meets The Strokes and Black Lips) — you “Better Find Out” that this is your band. PANGEA is on tour now. Catch them live — and be prepared to catch Keegan as he stage dives, guitar in hands, never missing a single chord.
Article: Vivian Wang