Mission of Burma, Fucked Up, Ponytail and Jemina Pearl @ Williamsburg Waterfront – 7/12/09
It turns out that I moved to Greenpoint a year late. ‘They’ decided to turn McCaren Pool into an actual pool and stop holding ridiculously awesome free shows in an empty communal swimming spot. Regardless, the shows have now moved to Williamsburg and tonight was the first of many freewheeling Sundays on the waterfront. Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, Black Lips, Deer Hunter, Dan Deacon, No Age, Fiery Furnaces (“taco lettuce crunch crunch”…guh…count me out), Girl Talk, Beach House and others still await, but this afternoon was a day of (mostly) punkish noisy splendor. Thoughts (and now photos) after the…
Jemina Pearl seemed delighted to be on stage, albeit a bit too self conscious about how her band’s new songs sounded live. I’m not the biggest Be Your Own Pet fan, but I will give them a listen on occasion. Pearl had some fun light-hearted stage banter. The band was ill-prepared (in an endearing way). The songs sounded fine for what they were. In short, this was a silly and fun opening act that was correctly billed as the first of the afternoon.
Ponytail played next and met all expectations. If you ever have a chance to see the boys (and girl) from Baltimore you should do so without hesitation. I saw them a few weeks ago before this in a smaller venue and, never having heard them before, knew immediately that I would be listening to more of them. This show only accentuated that. The guitars are amazing, Molly puts on an adorably zombie-esque performance and you cant help but shake your body to the highs and lows. Think Deerhoof if they stopped fucking around and realized what they needed to be. That, in crude terms, is Ponytail.
I was sunburned by the time Fucked Up went on and decided to head to the strange corral they constructed for those who wanted to drink a beer in the park. From a distance they actually sounded like something I should have stayed for. Something akin to an angrier and more aggressive version of Les Savy Fav. That last comparison could be way off but, as I said, I was at a distance.
Mission of Burma were about what you would expect them to be. They played a good deal of new songs, all of them fine, and a handful of classics that were relished by those who cared in the crowd. Overall, a very good set. I would have loved to hear Academy Fight Song, Max Ernst and Secrects although, to be fair, they did play Thats When I Reach For My Revolver and This is Not a Photograph (encore). Side note: it is weird watching 20-somethings mosh to a band that are now in their 50’s.
The new venue worked well and sounded great. The dodgeball, 3 vs. 3 basketball and kiddy pools were fun to look at. The beer corral was a bit silly and I hope they fix that for the up and coming shows.