Northside 2011 : Day One Recap

<img src="" alt="Northside 2011 : Day One Recap" />HoZac Records' showcase at Shea Stadium kicked off Northside 2011 for QRO. ...
Northside 2011 : Day One Recap
Northisde 2011 Day One Recap

For the third year in a row, L Magazine threw its multi-venue Northside Festival, at stages across Williamsburg & Greenpoint in Brooklyn, June 16th-19th.  And for the third year in a row, QRO was there: 



HoZac Records showcase @ Shea Stadium

w/ K-Holes, Xray Eyeballs, My Teenage Stride, Making Friendz

There are many ways to ring in the start of a music festival like Northside.  You can opt for the official galas (Theophilus London kicked off the action at the Music Hall of Williamsburg – QRO venue review) or dive straight into long, rapid fire, no-name bills at no-name bills.  This QRO correspondent chose to play it safe by sticking with the tried-and-true: the HoZac Records showcase at Shea Stadium (QRO venue review).  The venue isn’t exactly the Bowery Ballroom (QRO venue review), but it’s a comfy, dingy dive that housed the garage/art/punk event well. 

After Chicago’s impressive Blackout Fest (QRO recap), it was a done deal that K-Holes was going to bring the noise.  The headliner sports one saxophone, one pair of maracas, and fills out the action with a guitar, bass, drums complement.  The combination makes for long arches of wailing brass sound, heavy slogging rhythmic undercurrents, K-Holesand a strummy sense of bare-bones punk abandon.  The Brooklyn-based band sounded even better at Northside than they did at Blackout, where sound issues undercut the tony, moany textures.  At Shea Stadium, the raw attack cannonballed full blast off the stage; so much so, the lead guitarist tumbled head first over his monitor into the pit, finishing the song from a seated position as he shimmied along on his ass keeping time to the chord progressions.

K-HolesXray Eyeballs, another Brooklyn-based member of the HoZac family, strutted its stuff second to last (and second to first).  The band has a great sense of sonic texture, serving up raw chunks of fuzz, buzz, delay and reverb in bite-sized songs that stick to your brain like overcooked pasta on a wall.  Credit especially the bassist; her crunchy rhythmic line provide more than a foundation – her instrument acts almost as a second guitar, sneaking up into the higher, more trebly registers to move the melody along.  Of course, the lion’s share of the attention goes to the lead guitarists and vocalist, who provided his own show within the show.  If he wasn’t peaking on a psychedelic during the gig, then he was doing a damn fine imitation of it.  The threads started to come unraveled about three-fourths of the way through – but a solid, driving instrumental to conclude the set reeled the execution back within a certain level of controlled mayhem.

Impromptu opener My Teenage Stride (the scheduled opener Making Friendz either played extremely early, or was a no-show) was a card-carrying garage trio with a great sense of rock ‘n’ roll texture, Chuck Berry-style off-tuning, and catchy compositions.  The lead guitarist complained (good-naturedly) several times about having, "Just gotten off a bus," and apologized for a shitty set.  It was one of those situations where the audience wouldn’t know any better if the performer just kept their mouth shut.  But the self-deprecating air possessed a certain air of charm in itself.  The set was a short one – maybe four or five pop songs – that left the crowd hungry for more.  Maybe too hungry, given the lack of a true opener; but on the first night of a four-day festival, less is probably more.


More photo galleries from Northside Day One:

NYC Popfest showcase @ Bruar Falls

Xray Eyeballs

Click image for full gallery


The Secret History

Click image for full gallery


Reading Rainbow
Xray Eyeballs

Click image for full gallery


Concert Reviews
  • Anonymous
  • No Comment

    Leave a Reply