Thursday, August 23, 2007


Last Friday, Kansas City knuckle-bruisers Coalesce performed their first NYC "reunion" show in five years at the Knitting Factory (as if these guys have never broken up... repeatedly). Matched well with Provdence-based schizo-corps Daughters (a little too well, since Daughters remain one of the best live bands around right now), the groups tumbled through fan favorites and adrenaline boosters.

Shortly into Daughters' set, a fan yelled out, "Play all of your first album!" Singer Lex Marshall rejoined, "We already played all the best songs... all two of them!" In general, this was one of the best times I'd seen the band. Marshall did his spitting, scratching, fellating-the-mic thing (thankfully he didn't do this), and the band bounced off the audience like a rubber wall. This was also the closest I've gotten to the stage during one of their concerts--I mostly stuck to the back previously because of the aforementioned reasons--and it seemed, surprisingly, like Marshall was pretty sober. I got to thinking, This is no madman of rock at all. His sobering precision in when he performs his ridiculous acts and meticulous detail to the way in which he freaks out belies his persona. Well-studied in David Yow (and maybe aspiring to be G.G. Allen, if you clicked that link), he's pushed himself to become a great frontman. Of course, this is no slight at him since he does it so well. For all the moshing, crowd-surfing and screaming he shared with the audience, it will be hard for them to top this gig. There were a couple of girls there, obviously brought by their mother who bought them drinks and asked if she should stay, which speaks to Daughters' universality. Saliva and family make good friends.
Coalesce somehow garnered a mookier crowd than Daughters with their mangled mathcore. Perhaps nobody left after Daughters' set, but instead a bunch of bridge-and-tunnel violence-gang punks just showed up. It was nice to see guitarist Jes Steineger back in the ranks, as his fill-in on the band's 2002 farewell tour wasn't nearly as exciting to watch. He often writhes, screams, shakes his fist, shouts into a bullhorn, looks ferocious all in the course of a song. By the third song, the Kansas City troupe was playing cover songs, Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," to be exact, and that seemed to win over any stalwart wallflowers. Throughout the set, vocalist Sean Ingram kept joking about how "I bet you didn't know we were really a cover band." Uhh... why don't you cover more of your own songs and not Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" and Fugazi's "Repeater"? Sure, a fun sing-along is good every so often, but for a band with so many albums and so many different styles, I was hoping the diversions wouldn't last long. They did play a song from their new 7", which sounded pretty good--very groove--oriented, after which Ingram joked, "You'll know this one next year." In the end, the group ended strong with Functioning on Impatience's "You Can't Kill Us All." The audience sang most of the lyrics while Ingram sat back and laughed. It's good to have you back too, dude.

1 comment:

kyle said...

such a good show.

sorry to get my fat head in your way (plaid hat)

some of my photos are up at