Nights like last Friday at Webster Hall can make even the most hardened non-believer see the light.
With a lineup of Atlanta’s Black Lips, U.K.’s The Moonlandingz and New York’s own Surfbort, it felt like a gift bestowed by the underground music gods. And a blessing by rock royalty made a believer out of everyone.
It’s hard to turn crowds out for openers, especially in large venues like Webster Hall. But if anyone can do get people at the doors on time, it’s Surfbort. The art school punk band brought a mob ready to mosh and toss. The gritty yet ever-fashionable lead singer Dani Miller filled the air with guttural screams and maniacal laughs while clad in a burgundy backless mesh leotard sprinkled with sparkles. The girly one piece was the cherry on top of a dog collar-wearing, mascara running, don’t-give-a-shit style and attitude. Even with Miller’s mom in the audience, Surfbort didn’t hold back.
Surfbort might have brought the rowdiness, but The Moonlandingz brought the spine chills.
Fronted by Fat White Family singer, Lias Saoudi, The Moonlandingz vibe is freakishly peculiar, but catchy enough to keep your fears at bay and make you sing along. A shirtless Saoudi sang quizzically over tantalizing organ keys and wily guitar riffs, hypnotizing every individual in earshot. Listeners were swaying simultaneously in a drug-like haze.
After the beautifully addictive performance of The Moonlandingz, The Black Lips stormed the stage. The crowd’s wasted no time rushing to the front.
After you hear the Black Lips once, you’re apt to be obsessed forever. With the addition of high profile drummer Oakley Munson and sultry saxophonist Zumi Rosow, their live set dives deep into the rabbit hole to a wondrous world of rock ’n’ roll. Despite several lineup changes since the band’s 1999 formation, the band has mastered the tricky science of onstage chemistry.
Their most recent album Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art, released on May 5 on VICE Records, was produced by Sean Lennon and featured his mom, Yoko Ono, as a musical guest. Yoko was a no show that night, but her stand-in made up for her absence. Sean Lennon, took the stage in her stead. The crowd first teetered in whispers when he appeared. A wave of excitement swept through the crowd as they realized they were standing in the same room with Lennon.
The extraordinary lineup of brought out fans who already felt connected through their shared taste in eclectic music. No one pushed splashed the crowd with beer pushing to the front. No one who posted up in the back complained they’re too cool or too old for anything. There wasn’t even an asshole bartender jaded he or she had to work that night.
It was simply a satisfyingly sinful evening, blessed by the gods, and for just one night, everything was right for the freaks and geeks of the music world.