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Propagandhi / Paint It Black: live in Brooklynlive in Brooklyn (2009)
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
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.
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):
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):
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