Royal Headache and Sheer Mag wrapped up their three-show Brooklyn Run at Saint Vitus with The Gotobeds (pics, review)
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Royal Headache / Sheer Mag / The Gotobeds @ Saint Vitus 8/30/2015
Watching Australian band Royal Headache is kinda like being courtside at a tennis match, with frontman Shogun being the ball. The guy is a constant blur, and was bouncing from one side of the stage to the other at Saint Vitus on Sunday night (8/30). He is most definitely the lifeblood of the band, an absolute maniac who was shirtless and drenched in sweat just a few songs into their set. He also reminded me a bit of The Fall's Mark E Smith in that, even though he doesn't play an instrument onstage, he seems to be the architect of their sound, correcting the substitute bassist when he played a bum note, and guiding the drummer at one point. All while singing his heart out in a soulful croon that is somewhere between Steve Marriott and Feargal Sharkey. They are a total blast.
This was the final of three NYC shows for Royal Headache, all in Brooklyn and all with Philadelphia's Sheer Mag. That band's tough sound draws most of its influence from late-'70s riff rock like Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy, while most of its energy comes from singer Tina Halladay who is also a belter. I don't quite get all the ultra-hype surrounding them in some circles, but they were good.
Opening the night were Pittsburgh's The Gotobeds who came up just for this show. They were in a good mood and frontman Eli Kasan, who was later singing along to pretty much every Royal Headache song, was cracking jokes and throwing kicks throughout the set. And an interesting set it was. In addition to three songs from their first album for Sub Pop which is due out early next year, they also covered the entirety of Redd Kross debut 12", and invited Kevin Pedersen, who runs Royal Headache's label What's Your Rupture and whose birthday it was, onstage to sing vocals on a "Annette's Got the Hits." (They covered the whole of Redd Kross' debut EP at the show.) There was also a big skeleton/witch model/costume that guitarist Tom Payne decided to wear at the end of the set. "Can you believe we found this in the trash just a couple hours ago," cracked Kasan.
The Noisey-presented show was just $5.00 to get in, and that included a free Shiner beer, much like you'll get at the Speedy Ortiz show happening at the same venue tonight (8/31).
Lots more pictures from the whole night at Saint Vitus, below...