No Age Fitzgerald's January 12, 2010
For more pics from last night's show, including lots of crowd shots, check out our No Age slideshow.
We are only a little less than two weeks into 2011, and Aftermath may have seen the first best show of the year, with 50 weeks left to go, with the show No Age show turned in last night. In terms of sheer, blunt-force happiness and volume, it's going to hard for another band to come into town and put on that same caliber of gig but the year is young.
This was by our estimate the first Houston visit by the L.A. duo, turned into a live trio with electrical backing by a sideman. Their first studio release, Weirdo Rippers, came in 2007. Their breakthrough LP, Nouns, followed the next year. The band is currently working and touring behind their new expansive disc, Everything In Between, which hit just last September.
Leading off with a wash of noise before a primed pit of people downstairs at Fitzgerald's, the band opened with "Life Prowler" from Everything, and the crowd up front turned into a mass of hair and sweat. Jackets and hoodies were thrown onto the stage for safe keeping. Beer was flying, spittle was launching. We sat a few feet away and were waiting for someone or something to throw us into the pile of people.
The band's calling card, "Teen Creeps" off Nouns, sort of took us back to the days downstairs at Fitz where it was dangerous to jump in a punk or hardcore pit, which was refreshing. No Age's debt to the chaos of hardcore with that underlying river of nerdiness made a perfect warming stew to bathe in while the temperatures were dipping into the low 30s on the patio a few feet away. We were still waiting on that guiding hand into the pit. More on that latter.
Check out the ex-band of the core nucleus of No Age, Wives, to feel where that may be coming from. Dean Spunt and Randy Randall's last release with Wives, 2005's Erect The Youth Problem, holds the template for the sound of No Age to come.
A line of new songs from Everything came up next, "Fever Dreaming", "Depletion", and "Common Heat." We had read tales of other crowds not warming up to the recent stuff, but Houston didn't seem to waiver last night. As long as it had a beat and you could dance to it, the boys and girls up front keep screaming. From note one, this show was infectious.
You can describe No Age as basically the Ramones split in half, with Dee Dee in rehab. With the bruddahs from New York playing right before as intro jams, we quickly made that deduction, which you can mark as dim, but it came from the gut.