Monday, August 16, 2010

Live: Ink & Dagger with Primitive Weapons @ Brooklyn Party Expo 8.12.10

As the handle may evince, I am all too aware of the double-edged sword that is being on the scene. As I approach old age, my desire to seek out shows that you can only get the address from mysterious websites or message boards or however hipster spread the word about these things. Much of what little desire I had to be one of those in the know was soundly quelled last year when Thorns Of Life were an active entity. The number of red herrings about shows, as well as the fact that they maybe weren't so up to the hype and that I had to go to damn Philly to see a Brooklyn band put whatever pretentions I had towards sporting a white belt and bad haircut on the shelf.

You can imagine my dilemma when Eric mentioned Ink & Dagger were going to be in town and playing at some DIY space in Brooklyn. The fact that the singer was dead was intriguing, even moreso when it came to light that Geoff Rickley from Thursday was manning the mic in his stead. Then it became a coincidence, as I realized that Thursday and Ink & Dagger are both bands that I like much more without their singers. That insensitively pointed out, once we found that it was promoted both by Brooklyn Vegan and Vice it seemed prudent to get there stupid early, as it was bound to be a madhouse.

Brooklyn Party Expo is an old party supply storefront way out on Broadway. By the time I met Eric out there, he had had just seen the Ink & Dagger dudes and could confirm that the six of us were the only people there. A couple/three rounds later we posted up and caught most of Primitive Weapons set. Bands set up on the floor, a move that I admire from a populist (and vertically blessed) perspective, but still find kind of silly as it guarantees that unless it's Lamb Of God or Pennywise or some other band with a giant in its ranks, 3/4 of the crowd won't be able to see the band. Combine that with the sound system of the average DIY venue, and you can see how/why that scene can be so frustrating. Brooklyn Party Expo is a good space, and truth be told, the sound was pretty good for a storefront. I can't say I found anything memorable about PW, but save for the less that Philly-sized crowd, Ink & Dagger brought it. Rickley simply cannot carry a tune in a bucket, but the rest of the (original?) band brought some serious Philly hardcore. The band has wisely opted to go without the makeup that typified the late period McCabe I&D lineup. They opened with The Road To Hell, and despite the lack of theatrics it was off to the races for the next half-hour or so. I wasn't the hugest fan way back when, but there is a point in a weekday evening when you've had a couple beers and being tossed around a room isn't so bad. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go out of my way to see Ink & Dagger, and still question the Vice connection, but this is one of the few reunion shows that came close to living up the hype.