No Devotion, out on their first US tour with labelmates Wax Idols and Creepoid in tow, make it a Collect Records tour of sorts with three of that label's best and probably best-known acts. It's a solid triple bill that hit Brighton Music Hall in Allston, Massachusetts, on this mild Monday night for its opening night.
Creepoid have played Boston a ton over the last year, and every time within a three-mile radius or so -- last October with Balance and Composure at Paradise, this past June with Destruction Unit at the Middle East, and the next month at Great Scott with Marriages. I don't mind it at all - -they have a pretty sizable catalog they've amassed in a short amount of time, and their sets are only ever a half-hour long, so that's a lot of songs they still haven't played here, in my mind. Having already toured on their four-month-old Cemetery Highrise Slum pretty heavily, they're seemingly already evening out their sets lately to include stuff off all three of their full-lengths. My favorites tonight were Slum standout "American Smile" and self-titled highlight, the quietly cacophonous "Yellow Wallpaper." Speaking of which, after that song, their drummer was sure to iterate to the small but attentive crowd, "You guys are always good to us. Thanks for the weed." They were solid as always, and I definitely enjoyed how strangely well-lit the stage was for their performance. It's always a plus to actually see what's going on.
Set list (8:00-8:32):
- [older song I can't figure out the title to]
- Yellow Wallpaper
- American Smile
- Tell the Man
- Dream Out
- Old Tree
Wax Idols were next. Certainly a band I need to look into more, they play pretty solid post-punk/darker new wave of sorts Ã la Siouxsie and the Banshees. I'm also pretty sure they have a member of the like-minded Vaniish, who I like a lot. They presumably played a bunch of cuts off their nearly officially released new album and Collect debut, American Tragic. Some of the songs blended together a little, but it was definitely an energetic and mostly compelling set, dynamic and finely tuned.
No Devotion came on next to a modestly sized crowd (probably around 50 people) in a venue that certainly could have fit a lot more. But if they were disappointed about the turnout, they didn't let it show, putting on a fun and sincere performance. They showed off all their strong genre suits, from active synth-pop -- I was reticent about their first-ever single, "Stay," but I'm sort of feeling it now; it even had Wax Idols' singer and self-proclaimed Geoff Rickly fan up front bopping along -- to darker post-punk. There were some backing electronics helping them along at times, but it was a refreshingly stripped-down set without any real bells or whistles. Granted, some of the harmonies on "Permanent Sunlight" felt a little flat, but that's one of few criticisms one could have.
Despite recent circumstances, they seemed to be in decent spirits too, with frontman Rickly talkative and amicable between songs as they played just about all of their new (and only) album, Permanence. They played my two favorites from it early -- the No DevoluciÃ³n-ish "Addition," and the suave "Eyeshadow."
Rickly gave some very gentle (but definitely warranted) ribbing after someone shouted out a "Paris in Flames" request after "Stay," asking rhetorically if he thought everyone in the band was going to unzip themselves and reveal they were actually members of Thursday in disguise. "I would unzip myself, and I would be a young, skinny Geoff Rickly...actually, that doesn't seem too bad." He alluded to both elephants in the room without mentioning them specifically, merely just thanking his labelmates/clients, own bandmates and fans there for sticking with him/them through everything everyone on stage had been through. Even if a Thursday superfan hadn't made that inane/predictable request, he probably would have been happy to discuss his past with them, as not long after, he described Thursday's songwriting process as constantly trying to write a song sadder than the last, and how No Devotion's set closer "Grand Central" had outdone them all in that regard.
Set list (10:04-10:58):
- I Wanna Be Your God
- Only Thing
- 10,000 Summers
- Night Drive
- Death Rattle
- Permanent Sunlight
- Grand Central