photos by James Richards IV, words by Parker Langvardt
Fucked Up @ Lincoln Hall on 4/09/2012
In one of the greatest billing decisions Chicago has ever seen (at least in print), Lasers and Fast and Shit opened for Fucked Up. I was wondering why there wasn't a boldly printed commemorative poster, but when I got to Lincoln Hall I realized that this fairly non-punk venue was not the best place for a show like this on a sleepy Monday evening.
Lasers and Fast and Shit played a raucous, entertaining set, characterized by their trademark sarcasm and intense homemade light show. Their set included songs from their debut EP, Introduction, including the bizarre "Keep the Water in the Tub," sang by bassist Eric Kratz, and their closing "Theme Song" in which vocalist Joe Carsello plays with the order of the words "Lasers and Fast and Shit" a la "Sex and Violence" by the Exploited, though more direct and energetic. More than half of their set was comprised of songs from their cassette release, Second: Cat Fight, the group's first recordings that feature current guitarist Colin Dekuiper. Zaid Maxwell of the local experimental group SHAPERS joined them on guitar and an ARP analog synthesizer. Maxwell has performed with Lasers a few times, helping Dekuiper bring the noisy, krautrock edge that, along with the lights, help make Lasers more than a run-of-the-mill punk band.
Fucked Up's performance of David Comes to Life was very accurate and kind of sterile. Aside from the always energetic (and frequently shirtless) Damian Abraham, bassist Sandy Miranda was the only member that consistently showed enthusiasm throughout the show. I would have been in favor of more stage presence from the rest of the band, even if it meant a sloppier performance. Despite often being framed as punk, this show made me think of them as more of an indie rock band, with most of the punk aggression coming solely from Abraham. Approximately one third of the audience was comprised of young men who flocked around Abraham whenever he entered the crowd. Many of them were eager to bear hug the sweaty, hairy frontman. Adoration aside, their motivation for doing so wasn't exactly clear. A rite of passage perhaps? Whatever it was, it was hilarious to observe, and looking back on it I kind of feel like I missed out.
Upon noticing a fan's CM Punk shirt, Abraham declared, "Forget about that Cubs team, you got a winner in CM Punk!" The references to the WWE wrestler didn't stop there. He mentioned naming his son Holden, which was not directly from the Catcher in the Rye character but actually after the Screeching Weasel song "I Wrote Holden Caulfield." After telling the audience to separate Ben Weasel's actions from his music, he brought up CM Punk (again) to tell us that the wrestler had challenged Weasel to a fight. Between songs Abraham also gave credit to Drake for making Americans take Canadian rap a little more seriously. More pictures from the 4/9 Lincoln Hall show, below...
Lasers and Fast and Shit