Nothing adds mystery to your week quite like a show with a secret headliner.
Secret Project Robot announced Tuesday’s show weeks ago. The lineup included NYC’s Flasyd and Native Sun and U.K.’s Fruit Tones, but the headliner stood over them all on the flyer with an alluring row of question marks. The question of the week was “who could it be?”
If you’re in the scene, it only took a text to solve the mystery. But the show wasn’t attended only by people in the know. The show attracted people from all over, including a girl who’d driven five hours with her mom just to come and was almost turned away at the door because she wasn’t 21. But the presence of her mom and length of her trip got her through the door, albeit with big old black Xs marked on her hands.
Rowdy NYC punks Flasyd started the show. The place wasn’t quite filled up yet, but people could still bang their heads along to the short distorted and fuzzed out punk rock anthems voiced by pink-haired frontwoman Syd Walsh. They finished their fast and furious set with a cover by The Chats, “Smoko” that got everyone singing along.
It was too cold for an actual smoko (AKA smoke break) between bands, so everyone settled for tequila shots instead.
With the tequila warming everyone’s bellies, Fruit Tones heated things up on stage. The U.K. trio was a whirlwind of guitar riffs and drum beats. Though they’d only stepped off their flight from Manchester, U.K. just a few hours before, they rocked out on stage so hard the bassist’s strap ripped right off his guitar. Do you think that stopped them? No way. They kept going as the crowd shouted along to their catchy originals and their cover of Buzzcocks’ classic “Orgasm Addict.”
Native Sun always brings the chaos. The venue had filled out at this point and people were ready to surf that crowd. Almost instantly, bodies and beer cans were flying through the air as Native Sun’s blasted from speakers set to top volume. Halfway through the set, they told the crowd the next song is about a band from Akron, Ohio. And, of course, everyone went wild when they started to sing about the music gods Devo.
A friend even managed to hop on stage and do a shoey (chug a beer out of a shoe).
With the crowd properly riled up, Frankie & The Witch Fingers brought their trippy but hardcore vibes to the stage. You can’t just simply call these L.A. boys psych rock—they’re much more. They’re able to take a 10 min trippy-as-all-hell psychedelic banger and make it feel like a high-energy quick and devious punk rock song. How do they do it? I have no idea.
They played tracks from their new album Zam. I promise you I was not on acid, but I saw some faces melting. The venue is also home to local artist displaying their sculptures, illustrations and installations, which paired beautifully with the rock ‘n’ roll of Frankie & The Witch Fingers.
The show was a banger and no one bothered to try to keep that a secret even for a second.