Rickshaw Stop packed in a full house on Friday night, cutting off the line just as I was able to weasel my way into the madness. I suspect almost everyone was there for Parquet Courts, who, for the most part, lived up to the hype.
Local openers Pang hit the stage just after 9:30, performing a brief set of punk-infused garage rock songs. The all-female quartet actually sounded a bit like Wax Idols, only much more passive. The frontwoman, who played rhythm guitar, keyboard, and vocals, announced “this is our last show,” so who knows if we will be hearing from them again anytime soon. The ladies of Pang also seemed to be confused about whether the fog on stage was from a smoke machine or if it was “just all the farts.” I didn’t fart. No really, I swear.
San Francisco’s Cocktails opened with an ode to Friday night, and continued with a set of sunny California pop rock. The band sounded tighter than when they opened for Mac DeMarco at the same venue a couple months ago. Cocktails gave a shout out to Father/Daughter, who released the band’s 7-inch record. Apparently it was also (frontman) Patrick Clos’ birthday.
Parquet Courts took the stage next, playing hits from the band’s 2012 LP Light Up Gold, some older deep cuts, and a couple brand new songs. Austin Brown needed a minute to tune his guitar before the band got started, and Andrew Savage said something like, “We’re on the West Coast now. We’re not in New York anymore…no rush.” Although the band is very much based in New York City, Savage was not shy about representing his Texas roots. Nor was Brown afraid to represent the NHL’s Boston Bruins, for that matter. Bass player Sean Yeaton barely spoke, and held down center stage with rhythmic precision.
The quartet alternated between intense, high-energy punk shredders and more laid back rock jams, as the crowd responded with various degrees of moshing. The chaos of the evening hit its peak when the band ripped through back-to-back crowd-pleasers “Master of My Craft” and “Borrowed Time” during the centerpiece of its set. Fans slammed into each other while shouting along with choice lyrics such as “Forget about it!” and “Socrates died in the fuckin’ gutter!”
The guitars and vocals sounded a little blown out when things got rowdy, favoring raw punk energy over the streamlined sound of the album on which the lyrics are much more pronounced. After making a couple last minute party-animal demands – “We’re still waiting on that bottle of wine” and “where can we go set off these fireworks?” – the band ended the show with an extended version of “Stoned and Starving” and exited without playing an encore. What’s the cure for tinnitus, again?