Screaming Females, Priests, Tenement & Vacation played two Knitting Factory shows in one night (pics, setlists)
photos by Greg Cristman, words by Andrew Sacher
Screaming Females / Tenement / Vacation
The awesome four-band bill of Screaming Females, Priests, Tenement and Vacation brought their short tour together for two shows (early and late) at Knitting Factory Brooklyn on Saturday (2/28). This all-Don Giovanni lineup also doubled as the final night of the label's Brooklyn showcases. I caught the late show, and the pictures in this post are from the early one.
Kicking off this great night was Cincinnati's Vacation. Vacation sound like their favorite Replacements album is Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. They seem like they like SoCal skate punk as much as they like '60s garage rock, and like they probably have genuine love for the Ramones. Of course I could be wrong about all of this, but it wouldn't be so fun to try to play spot-the-influence with them if they didn't take these familiar sounds and give them such new life. Three of the four members were made up in androgynous eyeliner courtesy of Priests singer Katie Alice Greer (one of them gave Zachary Cole Smith a run for his money in the Kurt Cobain lookalike department), they bounced around that stage like rock stars, and frontman Jerri Queen had a howling delivery that's ready for way bigger venues. Vacation were the only band on the bill I was seeing for the first time, and I left the show fully sold.
Speaking of SoCal skate punk, Tenement followed with a killer set as indebted to that sound as it was to J Mascis guitar solos. They hardly said a word on stage, just banged out ripper after ripper and abruptly left without even a wave goodbye. Short, sweet, and punk as fuck.
Then came Priests, who were great and confrontational as always. Their post-punk-inspired punk is super tight -- it's held down by razor-sharp basslines, but Katie's wild performances are what push a Priests show over the edge. She growls, shouts, and sometimes even sings delicately, and everything she does is totally physical.
Finally, headliners Screaming Females wrapped up the night. The shows were release parties for their excellent new album, Rose Mountain, and we got a handful of that album's highlights. I've heard people consider Rose Mountain a tamer album for Screaming Females, which I think is only kind of true, but live the new songs definitely don't have any less power than the older ones. For me, the new album's strength lies in how great it is melodically (the title track has maybe my favorite Screaming Females chorus ever), but Marissa Paternoster, King Mike and Jarrett Dougherty are still the same crushing power trio we know and love. That was true as ever at Saturday's show, where they were loud, locked in, and a total force. Plus. no matter how many times I see it, it's never not a treat to experience Marissa's shredding solos in person.
Screaming Females' tour includes one more NYC show: Friday (3/6) at Silent Barn with labelmates Downtown Boys and locals Aye Nako. Advance tickets are sold out, but a few will be available at the door.
More pictures from Knitting Factory, with setlists from the early show from every band except Screaming Females (anyone have it?), below...
Vacation early show setlist:
One Of A Kind
Make A Mess
Priests early show setlist: