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It’s always a good feeling — or, at least, a holistically satisfying feeling — when you leave a show with your ears ringing, covered in equal parts your own sweat, other people’s sweat, and beer. That was the case after walking out of the basement of the First Unitarian Church near 21st and Chestnut after the Titus Andronicus show, opened by hardcore –favorite Ceremony.
While Titus Andronicus is often grouped in the post– and pop–punk families, their musical influences are just as strongly rooted in indie rock. A lot of their fans were well into their twenties and preferred to inconspicuously bob their heads and sip their microbrews, while the younger crowd raucously danced right up next to the stage. Ceremony, on the other hand — a band who probably would have headlined at a more strictly punk show — brought the pissed–off adolescents in droves. The mosh pit immediately got underway when Ceremony took the stage, complete with kids running on stage and singing into the mic until someone else got up and tackled them — not necessarily my scene, but it was fun to watch Ceremony play some of their best songs from 2010's “Rohnert Park.”
Titus Andronicus released their new album, “Local Business,” only a couple days before the show, so naturally they did a few new songs to show off the material. The bulk of the show was taken from their album “The Monitor,” with which the crowd was extremely familiar. Songs like “Richard II” had everyone in full sing–along mode. They played an extremely long set — well over two hours — that vacillated between slow build–ups and rocking choruses. The crowd was extremely receptive, as has been typical at First Unitarian. The show was a great mix of two bands different enough to have distinct sets, yet with enough cohesion to not feel incongruous.
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There’s something unique about going to see a show at the First Unitarian Church. You walk downstairs to the sweaty, subterranean hall and push your way past a crowd of flannelled, snap-backed U Arts kids crammed right up to the stage.