Thursday 25 July 2013

Thee Oh Sees Break Out A Sweat

The Californian band Thee Oh Sees were a sensation earlier this year at Le Guess Who? Mayday edition. Their garage punkrock and energetic performance impressed everyone including the critics. You would think they were the latest hot newcomer, but have been around since 1997. The productive band that saw many name changes released seven records in five years as Thee Oh Sees. Front man John Dwyer is in more bands than there are "bitches" in an average hip-hop song. Time to go see this band for myself.

Thee Oh Sees at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, July 22 2013

Today is probably one of the hottest days this year and we may be in the middle of a heat wave. Although it is warm in the Bitterzoet club, it could be worse. But Thee Oh Sees are warming up the sold out club a lot more. Right from the start they are showing they mean business. Within no time a pit forms in front of the stage that keeps on going until the end of the show. Where do those youngsters get the energy from? They get it from the hard rocking band, with their catchy garage rock songs.

Those songs have more to offer than you would think. The solid and tight rhythm section, Petey Dammit on bass and Mike Shoun on drums, is laying down grooves that make it impossible to stand still. On top Dwyer is playing his irresistable riffs. Brigid Dawson is finishing it off with subtle synth parts and tambourine. She's also adding background vocals and harmonies into the mix that shouldn't be underestimated. Together with Dwyer's vocals the result is stunning: a contagious and lively performance.

Compared to the records the songs get more rough which is a very good thing. Songs are getting longer versions because of added jams. Drums and bass are often creating repeating grooves in those jams, that make you go into a trance. Explosions of noise will get you back to reality again. It creates so much energy that the club explodes with them and sparks some occasional crowd surfing. The whole time the band keeps a fast pass, except once in the encore during a slower song. By that time every one is soaking wet. Their latest album Floating Coffin proves this band can make great music and write snappy songs. However live on stage they are showing to be even better.

Unfortunately it is hard to make decent pictures with a compact camera in Bitterzoet because of the lighting. Anyway here are the ones where at least you can make out what's in the picture.

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