photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Bill Pearis
Palma Violets / Hollerado @ Glasslands, 1/23/2013
You never know what to expect at these UK-hype shows. Palma Violets have clearly had a lot of it, what with NME naming their "Best of Friends" single the Best Track of 2012 and naming them one of "The Stars of 2013." It's a catchy song for sure, but seemed like this year's Vaccines. But, unlike that band, Palma Violets are clearly a "you need to see it live to get it" situation. Which brings us to last night's Glasslands' show, the band's second in Brooklyn. Unlike the smoky, sweaty, all-ages show they played at Shea Stadium on Saturday (1/19) this one was full of industry types and I was expecting a more stereotypical crossed-arms NYC reaction. So when the front half of the crowd went mental during "Best of Friends" and continued to do so for the rest of the band's set, crossed arms unfolded... at least to brace themselves against the pit and crowd-surfers.
What you don't get on record is the us-against-the-world camaraderie that singers Sam Fryer and Chilli Jesson exude onstage that, for those in the crowd old enough to remember will, recalls The Libertines in their heyday. Palma Violets also have that sloppy-in-a-good-way vibe going, albiet one that is infused with a healthy dose of Doors-y psychedelia. These guys mean it, man, and that undeniable energy is mainlined into the crowd. When their set was over, the floor was a mess of crushed beer cans and soggy confetti.
The confetti came courtesy Hollerado's highly entertaining opening set where cannons went off at least three times. There were also multiple jumps off the drums, "doo doo" choruses and very funny stage banter via singer Menno Versteeg. These Canadians make extremely catch guitar pop in the '90s alt-rock vein, with clever arrangements and a lot of skill.
For example. Live, their single "Juliette," from 2009's Record in a Bag, has as many endings as Return of the King, going through a dub reggae phase into faux Thin Lizzy licks and an extened arena rock finale. Most bands would save something like that for their last song, but Hollerado drops in near the front of their set, and pull similar tricks out later (including a no-sticks drum solo), plus a couple songs from their new album, White Paint, which was recorded in Brooklyn and will be out next month. To paraphrase Versteeg's intro to another song, it's cheesy, but they mean it.
If you missed Palma Violets' two previous shows, they'll play Glasslands again on Monday (1/28) with openers Devin and Mainland and tickets are still available, though probably not for long. More pictures from last night's Glasslands show (though none of first band The Teen Age who we just missed) are below...