Photo courtesy: Mike Rosati Photography
Day three of Noise Pop 2013 brought a varied lineup to the Great American Music Hall, where dance punk outfits The Yellow Dogs and !!! sandwiched sets by Southern California-based outfit White Arrows and San Francisco’s own psych-surf band The Mallard. On paper, these bands make up a tight program of post punk, psychedelic-tinged sound, but what we got was a melting pot of different energies and sounds.
Kicking the night off with heavy synthesizers and quick-fired riffs, The Yellow Dogs put on a punchy, dance-inducing show. Hailing from Tehran, Iran the band is one of few projects touring the US whose music was once deemed illegal in its home state, where the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance did not approve of its sound. Though the band formed in 2006, The Yellow Dogs finally played its first legal concert in 2010, and luckily for us, made it to San Francisco to move us with indie dance punk tunes and remind us of rock and roll’s ability to transcend culture and geographical location.
The Mallard took the stage next and offered further proof that the band is an ever-evolving entity shaped only around the creative juices of mastermind Greer McGettrick. With no distinguishable riffs in its impenetrable wall of sound, the band offered one long, droning session of buzzing synthesizers, a trumpet and drums. McGettrick held no guitar and paced the stage with a mic in hand, sometimes murmuring and something screaming indistinguishable vocals. To close out the set, which was more like a single continuous track than a collection of songs, she stepped into the slightly perplexed crowd, walking around and stretching the mic chord as far as it would go, before silently leaving the stage.
Changing up the tone of the night, White Arrows picked up the energy with some friendly guitar rock. Colored with glittery pop guitar riffs and hip-moving beats, the band’s set breathed some new life into the crowd, especially after an animated performance of “Coming Or Going.” Led by vocalist Mickey Church, who donned a blue shoulder-length wig halfway through the set, White Arrows know how to have fun and how to fill a room with infectious energy.
Great American Music Hall was buzzing and packed wall to wall by the time !!! took the stage. From the moment the first few notes escaped into the venue, frontman Nic Offer commanded the audience’s attention with his uninhibited sass and enviable dance moves. Every time he broke down into his signature arm and hip-swinging move to the beat of his band’s walking bass lines, the audience would erupt into cheers. He fully embraced the crowd’s energy, telling us multiple times how much he loves San Francisco pouring every ounce of energy onto the floor.
Playing songs off of its forthcoming album, THR!!!ER, due out at the end of April, !!! exuded as much excitement as its audience. At one point, Offer even exclaimed “We did it!,” after playing a new song live for the first time ever. To close out what will undeniably be remembered as one of the best sets of Noise Pop 2013, the band gave the audience the choice between two final songs: “Must Be the Moon” or “Intensify.” The audience chose the later, and !!! ended the night with a hard-hitting, synth-lead bang, leaving concert go-ers and the venue completely sweat-soaked.