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Fucked Up performed an album w/ Vivian Girls, Andrew WK, Titus Andronicus, Katie Stelmanis & The Girls at Dawn @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple – pics & review

words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Jake Forney

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Apart from a few deviations, Fucked Up succeeded in performing their 2008 album The Chemistry of Common Life in full and in sequence at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Thursday, November 5th. The program even found room for the record’s hazy instrumentals “Golden Seal” and “Looking for God,” both of which featured guest keyboardist Andrew W.K. On the latter, one of the last songs of the night, W.K. was noodley and playful, tacking pointy chords to the song’s building progression.

Vivian Girls were another of the night’s guests. They added eerie siren-like back ups to “Crooked Head” and “No Epiphany,” as they do (with Frankie Rose who was playing her own show across town) on the recorded version.

Another album guest, Katie Stelmanis, who stole the show with her band’s unique opening set, dueted with Pink Eyes on the apocalyptic slow-builder “Royal Swan.” Her operatic voice tangled with the burly singer’s cryptic proclamations. Andrew W.K. was there too, and led the way with an introductory piano figure, cued with a huge wink by guitarist Ben Cook. The epic took minutes to unfold, and it was one of the night’s rarer moments.

The pacing of the album did need some energy injected at times – that came in the form of “Crusades,” which the band inserted after “Black Albino Bones” (dedicated to “anyone who collects records”). “Peaceable Kingdom,” a ChemCom bonus track almost never performed live, was uneventful, until Pink Eyes decided to join the night’s many stagedivers (many annoying and wasted) by falling into the crowd and writhing on the ground for a while.

For the encore, the band treated the crowd to “David Comes to Life” and a full-guest version of “Louie Louie.” There was no “Party Hard” as requested many times, and that was for the best. Titus Andronicus hinted at that song by jamming on its opening riff while setting up. They played tightly-packed opening set, which had one brief lull. “I thought it was okay after one string broke, but now I’m down to four…” said singer/guitarist Patrick Stickles before grabbing a seafoam green guitar backstage. “I hope the very nice lady in the first band doesn’t mind.”

That would be the guitarist for Katie Stelmanis, who joined the singer and a percussionist (also on marimba) to perform gothy pop with a booming, crisp sound. On stage, Stlemanis projected a world of drama with the subtlest gesture. The following act, The Girls at Dawn, did off the cuff, girl-group-inspired punk. Their front-woman (girl) was covered in fake blood.

Pink Eyes stuck around until the last fan got his 7-inch signed and a shirtless hug. More pictures from the show below…

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Katie Stelmanis…

Katie Stelmanis

Katie Stelmanis

Katie Stelmanis

Katie Stelmanis

Katie Stelmanis

Katie Stelmanis

The Girls at Dawn…

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Girls at Dawn

Titus Andronicus…

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Fucked Up…

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