Show Review: Titus Andronicus and The So So Glos at Bottom of the Hill, 9/21/09

by Gordon Elgart on September 22, 2009

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Your life is over. Your life is over. Your life is over.

Titus Andronicus is one of the unofficial official bands of Spinning Platters.  This is because we saw them four times at SXSW last year, and hatched the idea for this blog upon our return.  It got to the point where we were pretty sure they were sick of seeing us, even though we hadn’t tired of seeing them.  So when we saw they were playing at Bottom of the Hill on Monday night, we recorded our podcast and headed right over.

We parked the car, and as we were getting out of the car, we heard the main support band start.  This was Brooklyn’s The So So Glos, who we collectively knew nothing about, other than how to spell their name.  What a great band they turned out to be!  They played a tuneful punk with polish and energy, and I did my best to get some sort of minor pit going without success.  When the band played their last song, they asked everyone to dance.  Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t dance.  Foreshadowing?

After a half hour spent looking at the old Bottom of the Hill calendars to see what shows we’re sorry we missed (Neutral Milk Hotel, Death Cab For Cutie, Flogging Molly opening for the Bosstones, etc), Titus Andronicus started up.  Immediately we noticed something was different here.  In Austin, Titus Andronicus was a five piece, with two guitar players.  Now, they were a four piece with a new guitar player, and also Patrick Stickles spent the entire show playing guitar instead of keyboard.  In fact, there was no keyboard in sight.

This changed the band’s dynamic quite a bit.  The earlier version of the band had a guitar player who screamed into the microphone at every opportunity and played the songs like he wrote them himself.  This new version of the band played with less intensity and ferocity.  The other side of this coin is that Stickles and “the new guy” are both better guitar players than they had before, so the songs sounded better.   The killer rhythm section was still intact so they sounded great, apart from an early-set sound issue where the vocals were inaudible.

The biggest disappointment with this show was the crowd.  First off, there just weren’t very many people here.  I don’t understand this.  Sure, it’s Monday, but it was only $8, and it’s a great band, and where the heck is everybody?  And the people that were there?  Lame.  The person writing the review should not be the only person jumping around the whole show.  50 dudes staring at the stage does not make for a fun show.  I wish everyone had drank more beer.

It seems that the excitement about the band has waned a little bit, so I think it’s time for them to go back home and write a new album to get everyone as excited as they should be.  I’ve seen enough bands come and go to have seen the signs.  If the second album doesn’t come out soon, and doesn’t kick everyone’s ass, Titus Andronicus may disappear.  I don’t want this to happen, and neither should you.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John September 22, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Word on titusandronic.us is that they just finished recording a new album before this tour. Not sure when it’s coming out.

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Gordon Elgart September 23, 2009 at 12:13 am

Thanks for letting me know. I’m excited about this already.

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walrus September 23, 2009 at 1:46 am

I spoke to the new guy about it outside the show – album has been recorded. They’re mixing it after the tour and it’s due out next year… he told me the name to, but i sort of feel i shouldn’t tell anyone!!

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