High level energy perpetuated throughout the crowd as people weaved in and around one another at Brick and Mortar. Their second night performing in San Francisco, Los Angeles’ No Age would be leading a sold out show that included openers Cheatahs, GRMLN, and Straight Crimes. Unfortunately, this reviewer just missed Straight Crimes and wasn’t able to catch much of their set. By the time I arrived, GRMLN had already set up a handmade banner across the stage, with their band name scrawled sloppily across with black marker. Everything about this band felt like teen angst at its very core.
With many of the members sporting large black Xs on their hands, the fresh faced boys of GRMLN make the kind of suburban snot rock that is fitting for confused youngins. However, regardless of their obvious youthfulness, the group performed a set that was fun and faced paced. A group of kids in the front, wearing glow sticks and glitter party hats, thrashed and danced through the majority of the set, pissing off some older photographers near the front. One older gentleman tried to shove the kids back, but this only provoked them to violently dance even more. The generational gap was incredibly amusing to say the least, as a trio of particularly enthusiastic fans joined a kind of frat circle dance to the music.
One of the more rambunctious dancers climbed on his friends and did a kind of one man crowd surf that only included his two or three friends carrying him. After a few failed attempts at this, he thought it might be best to climb on stage and parachute himself from there; unfortunately, this just resulted in the crushing of a rather small girl who was standing off to the side.
By way of Edmonton, Canada, Cheatahs are a lo-fi bedroom project from London. Their set was a much more chilled out experience in comparison to GRMLN. Delivering fuzzed out rock that had its moments of shoegaze influences, it was admittedly not this reviewers favorite performance of the night. The music seemed out of place in comparison to the energy GRMLN exhibited.
By the time No Age made its way to the stage, Brick and Mortar had become packed to the brim; and as the duo launched into their set they orchestrated the crowd to come alive. The room had become hot as kids pushed and pogo’d to their hearts desire. The unfortunate few who got in their way would lose their beers. Guitarist Randy Randall took a moment to reflect on how they’ve been playing Noise Pop for the past five years or so, and that they’re always happy come back. Searching the crowd he asked if anyone had seen Bob Mould earlier this week, and that someone from SST was in the audience tonight watching them. “I hope we’re doing alright,” joked Randall. It was clear that No Age was looking to impress.