Any given night, New Brookland Tavern is host to a bill of the familiar local bands that make up Columbia’s unique artistic culture. As the “point zero” of the cola music scene, high school bands and touring acts alike are given an enthusiastic welcome to the stage. Last Monday, the spotlight was on The Drunk or Lust Tour, featuring Positive No, Pet Symmetry and Beach Slang.
Positive No opened up the night, bringing a set of fuzzy dream pop to warm up the crowd and set the mood for the Monday show.
Beach Slang delivered nearly an hour-long set of raucous, hyper noise. With one of the most energetic spirits to grace the New Brookland stage in weeks, frontman James Alex jumped around and screamed his heartfelt, youthful lyrics for the entire set, only to apologize half way through for being “a bit timid” because he wasn’t drunk enough yet. Drenched in sweat, Alex thrived in the chaos of his music and flaunted his adolescence with his pink ruffled shirt, blue blazer and red bowtie. Their most recent album’s title, “A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings” represents them perfectly, as a wall of noise separated the band from the crowd.
The highlight of the show however, was opener Pet Symmetry. With two full length albums and an Audiotree Live session under their belt, they have been gaining momentum recently with their clean yet rebellious sound. Fronted by Evan Weiss, (Into it. Over It.) the Chicago band wears heavy pop-punk influences such as Harvey Danger and Motion City Soundtrack, while simultaneously channeling the melancholic simplicity of emo groups like American Football and Dismemberment Plan. Each song was performed meticulously, with extreme technical proficiency that only boosted their passionate performance. The upbeat energy was reflected in heartfelt ‘thank you’s to the crowd, a story of a rainbow, and a synchronized shirt changing skit. Watching them perform, it was refreshingly evident that Pet Symmetry is very serious about their music, without taking themselves too seriously.
Written by Jordan Smith
Photos by Christian Senf