Coachwhips (kind of)

It’s the rare show that devolves as the night moves along, but, by name alone, the Total Trash Halloween Bash didn’t promise an especially sophisticated evening. In this context, though, devolution was both welcome and expected, as the Coachwhips‘ first show in seven years appeared to pick up right from where the band left off, playing to an excited, partly-costumed crowd from a dimly lit corner of the Verdi Club’s floor. The stage-free positioning left two choices: either stand far back and pass on getting even a glimpse of the group, or submit to the churning tide of the crowd, which appeared to be operating as a single sentient organism.

Those of us who submitted emerged sweaty and satisfied from experiencing a set that was raucous and sloppy, a chaotic flurry that served as a welcome contrast to more staid reunion victory laps. Several songs from the recently reissued Bangers vs. Fuckers (out now as a tape on Burger Records) stood out as highlights, but the whole thing was raw, visceral and over in a flash. More Coachwhips!

The Traditional Fools

It may have been called “total trash,” but The Traditional Fools was the only band to feel the audience’s garbage, taking the good-humored pelting with, well, equally good humor. The trash tossing wasn’t a referendum on the band’s set, though, as the trio pounded their way through primitive surf-punk that had everyone twisting and shouting along. I’m willing to bet that pretty much any show would be better off with a Traditional Fools set. With In the Red set to reissue the band’s self-titled LP, maybe we’ll see them around more often? More Traditional Fools!

The Traditional Fools

I don’t expect new music from either Coachwhips or The Traditional Fools (prove me wrong, guys!), so it was heartening to hear a new song from Moonhearts. So new, in fact, that it hadn’t yet been named. The band was the first act I saw, and I’m guessing that was the case for others who chose finishing the Giants game over a prompt arrival.


But what a first set it was! The trio’s tight set captured the unpredictability of their terrific self-titled 2010 LP — the poppier songs invited pogoing, while the harder ones fired up the pit. Several hit somewhere in between, including a winning cover of “Judy is a Punk.” I’m especially partial to the band’s catchiest stuff — “I Said,” “Shine” — but the whole set was a winner. More Moonhearts! And, while I’m making demands, more Mikal Cronin solo stuff too!

Oh, and most of all, more Total Trash!