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Propagandhi / Paint It Black

Propagandhi / Paint It Black: live in Brooklynlive in Brooklyn (2009)
Smallman Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Brooklyn got sort of a spoiled lineup this past Friday. Bridge and Tunnel are one of the most passionate live bands in punk rock. Paint It Black are one of the most articulately ferocious. And Propgandhi? They haven't even played here in eight years. Consequently, this was a mixed but sociable cr.


Brooklyn got sort of a spoiled lineup this past Friday. Bridge and Tunnel are one of the most passionate live bands in punk rock. Paint It Black are one of the most articulately ferocious. And Propgandhi? They haven't even played here in eight years.

Consequently, this was a mixed but sociable crowd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Punks in their 30s shouted along from staid positions around the venue while others slam-danced in a frenzy (we're talking Prop's set here, of course).

Bridge and Tunnel kicked things off a quarter after 8, sounding rather fantastic in the process. Their harmonies were spot on for the first few songs and sounding rather crisp, though they gained some audible vocal fractures as the set wore on and the band pushed through, clearly giving it their all every second. They actually had quite a few fans in attendance, all of which probably felt as overwhelmed as the band, who were on one of their biggest stages yet. Guitarist Rachel Rubino, way out on stage left, wandered over to her bandmates a few times to make the set feel a little more intimate.

Those aforementioned fans sung along, but weren't exactly packing out the front of the stage, instead dotting the floor along the edge of the stage -- some with space to boot.

The band managed to get in about half of the wonderful East/West, one old jam that garnered some surprised applause with the opening chords, and the unsurprisingly fantastic new song, "Loss Leaders." It starts with shockingly intense and absolutely frenetic screams from Jeff Cunningham and then, quickly, Rachel, the song slamming forward with a tempo we usually don't get from them. The little 7" should be a treat.

Hopefully the band gained a few more fans from this, as I'm sure there were people coming out of the woodwork for their first show in a while.

Set list (8:16-8:41):

  1. Call to the Comptroller's Office
  2. Loss Leaders
    -----
  3. Night Owls
  4. Location, Location, Location
    -----
  5. Dear Sir
  6. Wartime Souvenirs
    -----
  7. As Close as I Can
I've seen Paint It Black in a few places as big as this, but the MHOW is still pretty big for them. Thankfully, there was no barricade. Still, a very small percentage of the crowd seemed psyched to see the band. I didn't catch his reaction myself, but when Dan Yemin reportedly walked on stage to see that there was no cushion of people to provide stage-divers a comfortable landing, he waved around his hands in bemusement. The front of the stage was soon packed out, however, multiple times, as a baker's dozen of patrons were very much here for Paint It Black, based on the bum-rush sing-alongs and occasional bit of four-to-the-floor dancing.

Per the usual, the band's set was a pleasant mix of all three full-lengths, though two new jams were included: the short, sharp burst of "Cipher" and one other mind-bogglingly long composition. It spans four to five minutes and, when released on the band's upcoming Bridge Nine EP, should be their longest song yet recorded. Yeems said it regarded bicyclists and the risks they run using such a transportive mode, as well as the horrible tragedies that tend to ensue for pedallers. It's got this one refrain that just pushes the song to epic proportions, but it sounds great and the band seem to be incorporating ever-newer textures.

Yemin must've had the mic bashed into his face at one point by an overzealous pile-on or something, because the behemoth suddenly started bleeding, and all of a sudden, we were all a lot more reluctant to help shout lyrics into the mic. It was funny to watch everyone rear back a little as a shirtless Yemin crouched near the edge of the stage with blood smeared over his knuckles; he used his already red shirt between songs to wipe himself off.

I definitely heard at least one "less talk, more rock!" heckle, which was probably to be expected here. Andy Nelson also gave encouragement to another heckler, who impressed Nelson with some lines here and there but seemed to wear thin by set's end.

I've heard from a lot of fans, even, that said the band played and sounded pretty awful here. I'd have to disagree, but I'm also pretty biased. They sounded great and I can't really think of many criticisms I'd have with the set.

Set list (9:00-9:34):
  1. We Will Not
  2. Past Tense, Future Perfect
  3. Nicaragua
    -----
  4. Womb Envy
  5. Four Deadly Venoms
  6. Exit Wounds
    -----
  7. Cipher
    -----
  8. CVA
  9. The Ledge
  10. Cannibal
  11. Missionary Position
    -----
  12. Election Day
  13. Pink Slip
  14. Atticus Finch
    -----
  15. new song
    -----
  16. Memorial Day
Knowing the riot that would ensue once Propagandhi launched into one of their thrash-punk expressions, I gave myself some room and retreated towards the back center. Smart move -- "A Speculative Fiction," "Back to the Motor League" and "Anti-Manifesto" garnered the biggest pits of the night, fan favorites that resulted in rowdy circles of kids, young adults and elders simply jumping around and freaking the fuck out.

The banner was unfurled a few minutes after 10, showcasing the cover of the band's new album, Supporting Caste, and the band soon walked out onto the stage, accompanied by their roadie clad in a Montreal Canadiens T-shirt, prompting the crowd to chant, "Let's Go Rangers!", cheering on their hometown team, and soon, "U-S-A! U-S-A!" How sardonic anyone shouting the latter was is up for debate. The band fired back with some cracks at the NHL's "most hated" and celebrated Blueshirt, Sean Avery, then cutting into "Supporting Caste."

The band were tight and Chris Hannah's voice punctuated much better live than on record. Man, though, was he pissed when an errant crowd-surfer knocked the mic into his face. Hannah glared menacingly at the surfer, who was racing across the stage for a dive. "I'll bash you in the fucking head," he exclaimed in the middle of "Back to the Motor League." When he continued with the "cold, dead hands" lyric, it definitely sounded like he replaced that last word for "head," emphasizing his threat. Shit was scary, but the guy had already dove off into a mass of sweaty bodies, keeping both his anonymity and livelihood safe for the time being.

Forty minutes in, the band claimed things were wrapping up, and they played just a few more. A three-minute wait passed, with the crowd filling the time by shouting, in unison, the chorus to the band's "Come to the Sabbat" cover. Prop soon returned, getting in more Sean Avery jokes, much to the crowd's chagrin -- oh, and they played some songs, I suppose, totaling things at about an hour-ten or so. Dan Yemin did his usual bit, as he's been doing on this tour, providing lead vox for the manic "Fuck the Border," which momentarily helped the crowd participation feel. Also, during this particular segment of the show, a fan with a shit-eating grin came up on stage and simply gave Todd a bear hug. I couldn't really tell if he was a local, long-time friend of the band or not, but he was introduced to the crowd as being just a young boy when Prop last played NYC (even though this dude looked 20/21 tops), and then made to look like an ass when the band fake-started a song and had him stage dive to silence.

I have to say, I don't remember much preachiness or extensive in-between banter at all from them. Propagandhi simply let their songs speak their thoughts.

I also have to say, risking total crucification, I'm not that into Propogandhi on record. Shit, I've only even heard three of their five albums. However, they were pretty enjoyable in this atmosphere and I can't deny them that or their abilities as a compelling and musically interesting live band. Fun times.

Set list (10:10-11:17):
  1. Supporting Caste
  2. Tertium Non Datur
    -----
  3. The Banger's Embrace
    -----
  4. A Speculative Fiction
    -----
  5. ...And We Thought Nation States Were a Bad Idea
    -----
  6. Bringer of Greater Things
  7. Dear Coach's Corner
    -----
  8. Less Talk, More Rock
  9. Rio de San Atlanta, Manitoba
    -----
  10. Haillie Sellasse, Up Your Ass
  11. Back to the Motor League
    -----
  12. Mate Ka Moris Ukun Rasik An
  13. Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes
    -----
  14. Anti-Manifesto
    Encore:
  15. America's Army (Die Jugend Marschiert)
    -----
  16. A People's History of the World
  17. Fuck the Border [f/ Dan Yemin]
    -----
  18. Purina Hall of Fame

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
theotherstevejones (March 20, 2009)

Always stand by the left side of stage. Todd is always interesting to watch.

iconoclast (March 20, 2009)

Moshcam:

holy shit! thanks for the link that is awesome!!!
does anyone know it this can be downloaded?

Moshcam (March 19, 2009)

Judge for yourself.

Complete concert video of Propagandhi in Sydney a few weeks back:

http://www.moshcam.com/?#?page=player&type=gig&id=495


Enjoy!

jamespastepunk (March 19, 2009)

Show sounds awesome. Wish I was there.

Also: I wonder if we're going to have to wait another four or five years before Paint it Black comes back to Chicago...

Seanith (March 19, 2009)

Good review. BTW, the comment about the band "looking bored". The only guy that consistently seems to be "bored" is the beave, but i'm convinced thats just his playing style.

xote (March 18, 2009)

From that video it looked like they were bored on stage. I do like them though.

Citizen_Crack (March 18, 2009)

Also, at the Cambridge show I'm pretty sure I saw Nuno and the guitarist from A Wilhelm Scream hanging out backstage.

scientistrock (March 18, 2009)

I attended this!

whoostin (March 18, 2009)

The first night they played Human(e) Meat and Apparently I'm a P.C Fascist

onegirlarmy (March 18, 2009)


if you were at the show and weren't dancing you know what i mean. the band was boring.


I wasn't dancing and I disagree. I think they were far from boring.

I was at both shows and while both ruled, I feel the Brooklyn show was better. Better venue, better crowd, better overall atmosphere.

Fuzzy (March 18, 2009)

SydBarret420:
Hate to be a dick, but is there anything that Propagandhi does that DOESN'T get an extremely positive review on this site?

I've never reviewed them. I'm not a fan at all. I would have gone to this for Bridge and Tunnel then peaced out - I'm not a worshipper at the house of Yemin either.

ChadReligion (March 17, 2009)

Saw these guys last time with J Church and Leatherface.... kinda pissed they haven't come to SF yet... Stoked for them playing Haillie Sellasse, Up Your Ass ,if they ever come through

pinkerton (March 17, 2009)

i was at the show in brooklyn.

i thought that many of the older propagandhi i have wanted to hear live for a long time were disappointing.

yes, they played them correctly.

still, the band gave me the impression that they were just "phoning in" a lot of the songs.

if you were at the show and weren't dancing you know what i mean. the band was boring.

it wasn't until "fuck the border" with yemin that i realized the full potential of a live performance from propagandhi.

chris even said he couldnt see the crowd near the end of the set, and aside from the guy bashing him with the microphone he might as well have videotaped another show and shown it with a projector on their giant banner.

Citizen_Crack (March 17, 2009)

Shit, I was hoping to review this one via the Cambridge show. Setlist seems similar. Cambridge one went:

1. Speculative Fiction
2. ‚?¶and We Thought Nation-States Were a Bad Idea
3. Bringer of Greater Things
4. Dear Coach‚??s Corner
5. Supporting Caste
6. Tertium Non Datur
7. Less Talk, More Rock
8. Rio De San Atlanta, Manitoba
9. Hallie Sallasse, Up Your Ass
10. Back to the Motor Leagues
11. Mate Ka Moris Ukun Rasik An
12. Today‚??s Empires, Tomorrow‚??s Ashes
ENCORE
13. Anti-Manifesto
14. ??? (From first two records)
15. Fuck the Border
16. Purina Hall of Fame

mikexdude (March 17, 2009)

"you're a fucking idiot. that is seriously the most ignorant comment i've ever read on these boards"

This reminds me of anonymous posters in mainstream reviews. :,( No one understands you : (

wallofyouth (March 17, 2009)

well that video sure kicked ass

everydayballoons (March 17, 2009)

"Bridge and Tunnel and Paint it Black could destroy Propagandhi any day"

you're a fucking idiot. that is seriously the most ignorant comment i've ever read on these boards.

ifyoumakeit (March 17, 2009)

http://www.ifyoumakeit.com/video/propagandhi/fuck-the-border/


video from the show, with Dan Yemin singing, unfortunately I couldn't get my camera out for B&T.

(the video may still be rendering on vimeo)

NotPatriotic (March 17, 2009)

"The band were tight and Chris Hannah's voice punctuated much better live than on record. Man, though, was he pissed when an errant crowd-surfer knocked the mic into his face. Hannah glared menacingly at the surfer, who was racing across the stage for a dive. "I'll bash you in the fucking head," he exclaimed in the middle of "Back to the Motor League." When he continued with the "cold, dead hands" lyric, it definitely sounded like he replaced that last word for "head," emphasizing his threat. Shit was scary"

THis show sounds amazing, I love it when something scary/violent happens between the band and the fans. It just adds that much more excitement to the show. Fuck, Propagandhi please come to Oregon and play the Satyricon.

nacho8675309 (March 17, 2009)

I saw them play in philly, and paint it black kicked more ass than any live band I have seen in years. Propagandhi was amazing and really funny but paint it black just went insane, witch hunt sucked though

PtvnSux94 (March 17, 2009)

FUCKING AMAZING FUCKING SHOW, Mr. Pickles.

mikexdude (March 17, 2009)

Bridge and Tunnel and Paint it Black could destroy Propagandhi any day.

bears_love_tacos (March 17, 2009)

i was at the show in baltimore, and prop sounded incredible, but i can't shake the feeling that they just look like they would rather be anywhere else but on stage. makes it harder to enjoy. also it's a shame todd's voice is gone, i'd give anything to hear night letters live.

teaessare (March 17, 2009)

suite review

i was one of the dotters for bridge and tunnel!

TommyPickles (March 17, 2009)

Amazing fucking show.

thirtyseconds (March 17, 2009)

It was shitty that there was no Todd singing.

However, he HAS lost his voice, so I won't hold it against them.

whoostin (March 17, 2009)

I was the 24 year old kid with the shit eating grin! Both NYC shows were amazing, although they coulda switched up the set lists a little more. There's some clips on youtube from this show, check it!

SydBarrett420 (March 17, 2009)

Hate to be a dick, but is there anything that Propagandhi does that DOESN'T get an extremely positive review on this site?

chrisarena (March 17, 2009)

This show was great. Propagandhi owned.

Bridge and Tunnel were great....but their mix was terrible. Half the time you couldn't even hear rachel's vocals.

Same goes for Paint it Black...their mix was terrible.

Oh well, was still a great night.

thirtyseconds (March 17, 2009)

By the way, nice review.

"Cold, dead hands" is from "Speculative Fiction" by the way.

They fucked that up the previous night, as Chris' guitar cut out. They went totally out of time. So I didn't actually get to see it properly. Heh.

thirtyseconds (March 17, 2009)

Yes, there was a heckler... Andy was being sarcastic when he said "ah, very clever". The heckler shouted that Dan had the mentality of a 2 year old.

He also shouted that Dan is an embarrassment to his gender, and that he "wouldn't even give him ass to mouth", in response to something Dan was saying about mouth to mouth.

I agree that not many seemed to be there for PiB, which was shocking to me personally. This guy had a real problem with Yemin, and I don't really know why.

Regarding his nose bleed, the previous night, some guy got on stage on one of the first few songs and smashed Dan's head into to the monitor, accidentally. He was bleeding worse that night. He actually had to say something about hemmoraging, and that people "had to chill", as he didn't want to die. People sure did.

CCSummers (March 17, 2009)

so fucking mad i didn't get to see this

salvation (March 17, 2009)

this show was awesome. every band was great.

thirtyseconds (March 17, 2009)

Yes. I was there. Worth the flight over alone.

dev (March 17, 2009)

No "Night Letters" or "Without Love", eh? I'm hoping these boys have some tricks up their sleeves for their show in Winnipeg Friday.

crackpotdemagogue (March 17, 2009)

set list is great, if a bit short. would kill to see yemin singing lead on fuck the border!

ChokingVictim (March 17, 2009)

fun show. b&t sounded amazing on that sound system, though i'd still rather see them in small spots. PIB was as good as always but the crowd was surprisingly tame during their set...prop killed it.

Evil_Dead (March 17, 2009)

Show was fuckin' rad.

BipedCasserole (March 17, 2009)

Thorough!
Score's for your review, cutie.

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