Titus Andronicus heave and ho at the Entry
Photos by Robyn Lewis
Titus Andronicus put out their first record two years ago, with conceptually bold and personality shy Patrick Stickles fronting the band of New Jersey scrabble through a hot-shit year of surprising everyone, outshowing most bands they opened for, and having some barely understandable mashup of literate and punk applied to them like clockwork. They toured constantly, then slightly less constantly in 2009, finding time to record a full-length record. Somewhere in there the band was essentially replaced, and Patrick Stickles grew more professional and a (slightly) bigger beard.
At the Entry last night the crowd in tow was the just-twenty-ones, newly fake ID'd, and the predictable gruff smattering of 'old' folks (I count myself in this tally, especially at this show). These crowds tend to provide ample love whut makes for lovable shows. Stickles & Co. walked onstage to cheer and claps and hoots and yes love, the singer wearing a homemade Black Flag shirt and what appeared to be every wristband from their tour, saying a couple songs in, "On Monday we often wish we were somewhere else from where we are. So let's take a trip right now to outer space...because space is the place."
Photos by Robyn Lewis
Titus Andronicus do not take you to space, however. Their sound is somewhere in rock and roll history between punk and straight anthem, songs about making and breaking in America, and the boredom of being around...the young and the old and the meh. If anything, Titus Andronicus want you to be okay with the being here in the mucky muck, the mire, and the sun.
The t-shirts on sale said "Titus Andronicus Forever", which is a sentiment that contains no small amounts of *wink* for someone as odd and talented as Stickles -- to sail that boat forever into the horizon seems a harsh yoke. Their newest record lost a lot of wail to time and concept, was not as raw and baldly exciting, and you get the feeling watching Patrick Stickles that he won't put up with that for long. The energy in the room picked up substantially when they pulled out songs from the first record, the strum & sing intros of their newest slowing down heart rates and tuning up ears.
I think Titus Andronicus will be a band I'll always want to see. They just grow up so fast.
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