Sometimes it is the small shows that pack the biggest wallop. Where there are only two bands, yet it feels like you watched a bigger concert. There were slightly contrasting energy of the music performed, but both Narrow Head and Fucked Up made it a show to remember.
Our openers were guys from Texas called Narrow Head. These guys gave me more of a grunge rock and Nirvana vibe. It was in part due to a lot of their songs had a slower pace with drawn out chords underneath. It isn’t a sound I expected to open for Fucked Up at first, but then thought about it.
It made sense once I remembered the broad genre stroke that Fucked Up plays. Their excitement and flair showed more on faster tracks that brought out more of the rocker in them. Narrow Head was pleasant surprise to open and setup Fucked Up this night.
Then it was a band I have never seen in a venue before, Fucked Up. I first discovered them at the last Viva PHX event playing the Punk Rock Alley. Damian, all the while singing, was up on the electrical box, crawling on the barricade and as far out into the alley as the microphone would let him. Between that and the music I heard, I was left hugely impressed with the band I had only been recommended the prior couple days by a pair of friends. However, when I looked into them it turns out they rarely play tours and usually it is festivals. Flash forward nearly two years to an excellent new album release and an accompanying venue tour. This was my chance to catch them live again.
The set itself delivered on every expectation. If unfamiliar with them, I like to describe them as if a punk and metal band merged with the Gorillaz. It takes those genres of music and plays around them into the tight sound that is Fucked Up. For this night they played new tracks, such as “Raise Your Voice Joyce,“ alongside older favorites like “Queen of Hearts.” While no electrical box to climb on this time, Damian was as expressive and anywhere he could be on that stage. The rest of the band performed just strong as last time, if not better, thanks to the Crescent Ballroom. We had during the end Ben Cook, guitars, jump up and take on lead vocals for a track. I’d be failing you if I didn’t mention our second encore had Damian drumming while Jonah, their actual drummer, jumps up on guitar for one last song. Ending the night with a giant hug from Damian as I met him for the first time, this show made for one of my favorites of 2018.