BV @ Northside: Protomartyr, Deerhoof, FRIGS, Corridor, Sloppy Jane & more (pics)
As part of the 2018 edition of Brooklyn's Northside Festival, BrooklynVegan hosted a showcase at Elsewhere on Saturday night (6/9). The event entailed DJ's on the roof and an eight-band lineup co-headlined by Protomartyr and Deerhoof, who both drew a packed house at the sold out show.
The night got off to a wild start in Zone One with a set from Sloppy Jane. Frontwoman Haley Dahl acts as a conductor of the various members of her band, including extra vocalists and people playing trumpet and violin - that is, when she isn't singing, playing guitar, or otherwise drawing the attention of the audience with her animated, confrontational stage antics (that sometimes include stripping naked). Complete with memorable sonic touches like an eerie cacophony of laughter from members of the band to a moment of silence perfectly timed to highlight a sound on the VHS player vocalists are draped over, Sloppy Jane's sets are captivating, and this one was no exception.
Renata Zeiguer meanwhile kicked things off -- backed by a full band -- in The Hall to an audience that included drummer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof who expressed their love for her on Twitter before the show as well. Renata's high pitched vocal style and songs are often comparable to Deerhoof, and at times reminded me of Dirty Projectors, another NYC band known for avant-garde-influenced indie rock.
Back in Zone One came a heavily entrancing set from Canadian, Italians Do It Better-signed electronic songwriter Tess Roby (whose newest album Beacon is starting to show up on some Best Of lists). Tess's set felt extremely intimate, as the performance solely consisted of electronics/synthesizers and vocals, and it was hard for those in the audience to not become lost in the warm hums of her synthetic, minimalist sounds and beautiful voice. She mentioned that her brother had been accompanying her on guitar at recent shows, but that he was unable to be there for this evening.
Afterwards came another Montreal-based act, Corridor, whose light, jangle pop sound was a change of pace from Tess Roby's atmospheric set. The band performed a very tight, vibrant set, which mostly comprised of tracks off their 2017 record Supermercado, all of which were sung in French. The language barrier didn't seem to be a problem for those in the audience, many of whom were bobbing their heads in enjoyment.
Over in The Hall, Toronto-based post-punk quartet FRIGS took the stage to perform several cuts off their album Basic Behaviour, which came out in February. Throughout the band's set, their excellent use of dynamics were on display, as Bria Salmela's dark, brooding vocals took command of the stage, which often ranged from soft murmurs to much louder shrieks. The other band members were no slouches either, as their harsh, detuned guitar chords and pounding rhythms further enhanced the already-confrontational nature of the songs.
Their energetic set was a nice appetizer for the next band to take the stage, Deerhoof, who filled every nook and cranny of The Hall with people for their reliably exciting show. The band tore through many older tracks in their repertoire, as well as some newer songs from their 2017 LP Mountain Moves. Drummer Greg Saunier -- always a beast -- provided entertaining, off-kilter banter in between songs. Vocalist and bassist Satomi Matsuzaki danced around the stage wearing a colorful outfit, complete with a mask. John Dieterich (check out what he's been listening to) and the glammier Ed Rodriguez are guitar gods.
This energy didn't stop by the time the final band of the night, Protomartyr, came onstage. Similar to many other shows on their tour, the band performed several tracks off their great 2017 album Relatives in Descent, which included the driving "Don't Go To Anacita," and the fiery "My Children," the latter of which opened the show. The band also played many tracks off their other two records, such as "Dope Cloud" and "Cowards Starve." Frontman Joe Casey's defiant vocals were a clear highlight, as he made frequent, prolonged eye contact with several fans near the front of the very enthusiastic crowd. The audience got very rowdy towards the middle of the show, forming a mosh pit that lasted the rest of the night, and loudly shouted along to many of the band's lyrics, especially during the memorable vocal refrain of "Why Does It Shake?" The band returned for a brief encore, and closed the night with the epic "Half Sister," as a very loud audience member predicted before the song began.
Eaters meanwhile had the unenviable position of overlapping with the headliners as the last band of the day over in Zone One, AND they had some technical difficulties, but they worked through it for a great sounding set to close out the 2nd stage.
Dave Harrington, Delicate Steve and Small Black supplied the tunes on the instantly-popular outdoor roof where people were drinking, dancing and enjoying the beautiful weather we had that day.
You can view photos in the gallery above.
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Jeremy Nifras & other BV staff