1) For whatever reason, I don’t think of Teens of Denial as a particularly rocking album when I categorize it in my mind (I do think the album is very good). That said, Car Seat Headrest rocked the fuck out on Sunday at Underground Arts. “Drunk Drivers/ Killer Whales,” “Destroyed by Hippie Powers” and “Vincent” transferred live in a powerful way I did not expect. There was never a mosh pit, but there was some pretty significant jumping around, which is as good as moshing at a singer-songwriter indie rock show on a Sunday.
2) A word about demographics: the show was sponsored by WXPN, which is a radio station for people who really like Ryan Adams. The crowd skewed younger; I’m 30 and I topped out at the older end of the spectrum. A lot of couples, a lot of women, a lot of younger people filled the room. It’s nice to know that Car Seat Headrest is reaching people in their age group, and it’s also nice when rock shows aren’t a boys club. There might have been 10 people total without glasses.
3) Underground Arts sells 24 oz cans of PBR for $7. I can’t tell if that’s reasonable or dangerous.
4) Underground arts has a main room and a black box. This show as in the main room, but probably should have been in the black box.
5) Opener Twin Pines was a good appetizer for Car Seat Headrest. The band had a vaguely emo, vaguely punk sound that reminded me of a less ambitious Braid. None of their songs have stayed with me, but they put me in a mood to see the headliner, which I suppose is the mark of a good opener.
6) Will Toledo is droll and flat in between songs. He should start a buddy comedy with his touring drummer, who brought an excitement and playfulness to the occasionally deadly-serious songs. This exchange was particuarly funny:
Drummer: “We were in New York yesterday … Now, I know New York is the city of dreams, but what do they call you here?
(crowd shouts out “Brotherly Love)
Toledo (deadpan): “We were here two days ago.”
7) Car Seat Headrest played for about an hour, closing the show with a medley of “Vincent” and “Paranoid Android.” One has to admire the balls it takes to cut one’s own song with one of the best rock songs of the last 30 years. Car Seat Headrest is on that kind of a hot streak.