This last Saturday, the majority of the "staff" here at A Brief Intermission went to The Music Hall of Williamsburgh to see blog favorite, Titus Andronicus, live. This wasn't a first time for any of us, and we all agree that The Monitor was one of the best albums of 2010, if not the best. That said, it would be impossible for any of us to give an objective review, so I decided to take on this writeup from a different angle. So here you go, the top five reasons you need to see Titus Andronicus perform in the flesh.
5. Patrick Stickels' Beard: For such a pale, skinny person, Stickels has a beard that any lumberjack, viking, or Civil War general would be proud of. Consider this: he had the best beard in Williamsburg that night, and that speaks volumes of its magnitude.
4. Screaming "Fuck You" with everyone in the opening of "Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ": Free group therapy, and much more fun.
3. Amy Klein: While Stickle's may be the brains and voice of the band, guitarist/violinist Amy Klein is the heart and soul. Her stage presence is up there with the best of them, and I don't think I've ever seen a musician have so much fun on stage...including Andrew W.K. If the music itself isn't enough for you to enjoy yourself, watch Klein for all of 30 seconds and you'll most definitely start dancing and smiling; her passion is contagious. Furthermore, not only can she absolutely rip on the six-string, but when she took over vocals for the cover of "Oh Bondage, Up Yours", it was electric.
2. The riffs of "A More Perfect Union": Simple, they will melt your face.
1. The sing-a-longs: To me, my favorite moments of a show nowadays are when you belt out those memorable lyrics with your friends, along with the rest of the crowd. Brilliantly so, Titus Andronicus' songs are filled with these moments. There are so many choice instances: from the repeated shouting of "Your life is over" in "Titus Andronicus", and the frantic screams of "The enemy is everywhere!" for most of the duration of "Titus Andronicus Forever", to the epic closer, "Four Score and Seven", which will have you bellowing, "It's still us against them!", long after you walk out of the venue. Though, my personal favorite has to be the anthemic "You will always be a loser...", followed by a single, deafening "...and that's okay!" How can someone not love this band?
Moral of the story, if you are a human and you enjoy fun, go see Titus Andronicus at your earliest convenience. Or even if it's not convenient. Just go see them.
PS - One of the opening bands, The Suzan, was absolutely killer. They are an all-female punk band hailing from Japan and judging by crowd reactions, they made a lot of new fans that night. I haven't been so blown away by a band I knew absolutely nothing about in a long time.