Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.
The Hype: Bolstered by iconic Smiths guitarist and brilliant songwriter Johnny Marr, the Cribs--literally a band of brothers, identical twins Gary and Ryan Jarman split vocal duties while handling the guitar and bass, respectively, with younger brother Ross on drums--are in the midst of a cross-country tour that will return to California in April for a high profile slot at Coachella. Supporting their boisterous new album Ignore The Ignorant, I expected a fairly large crowd at the Glass House with a contingent of fans stage right parked in front of Marr.
Ryan Jarman (left) in front of the mic; Johnny Marr (right)
Walking onto the stage with his white Fender Jaguar strapped on and ready to rock, Marr slashed out the opening chords to "We Were Aborted." "Hey Scenesters!" was snotty British punk-tinged rock at its finest, which had, yes, the scenesters in the front row chanting along with the chorus while Ryan violently knocked over his microphone stand. "Hari Kari" had the Jarmans and Marr harmonizing on the vocals at the end of the song repeating, "Your mind, your voice, your body, your choice".
Hammering through more new material, Marr added some bluesy slide guitar to "Cheat On Me" before falling back into the groove with his characteristic jangly chords. Appeasing old-school fans, the Cribs dipped back to their first album for "Direction." Ross pounded away on his drums while standing on his stool for dramatic effect--and perhaps greater sound. Slowing down things a bit, Ryan and Gary switched bass and guitar duties and Marr added plucky embellishments on "Save Your Secrets."
Bash and pop anthem "Mirror Kissers" could easily fit in at a noisy British pub with its drunken swagger. It was surprising to see Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth projected on a screen during "Be Safe," as a recorded version of Lee's spoken word performance accompanied the live droney parts of the song. A blast of feedback preceded the catchy "Men's Needs" that had the crowd erupt into a mosh pit at the front of the stage. Explaining that they didn't do encores, "City of Bugs" closed their set. Marr exited the stage with his guitar still strapped on--the crowd wanting more.
Although she had a broken foot, that didn't prevent opener Jemina Pearl from bouncing around on stage during an intense set of garage noise punk. One might remember Pearl from her former band Be Your Own Pet, which was championed by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.
The Crowd: Rain gear was the most fashionable clothing item at the show along with Smiths shirts, of course.
Overheard: "Patience is a virtue" was Ryan's response to an overenthusiastic fan who was shouting out song requests.