Friday, April 13, 2012
There's plenty of philosophical discussion about whether any given performer's work has artistic merit. All that will be said in that vein, in response to the Supervillains performance at Culture Room on Friday night, is that there is certainly an art to partying down.
When the combined chatter from the crowd in the room amounts to a singular, beer-chugging beast repeating the phrase "I want to party" with increasing volume and intensity, the role of the band that walks onto the stage to meet that monster is to repeat the phrase even louder and louder still throughout the duration of its performance. That's what the Supervillains did, literally, and through every bit of music they played in their nearly two hours onstage.
The band simultaneously met expectations and surprised in more ways than one, beginning with its initial appearance. The band members look like a group of beachy surf stoners, as did most of the folks in the room and as do most bands who play music that is heavily influenced by Sublime. Uniquely, though, Supervillains set up with the drum kit front and center, as the drummer, Dom, is also the frontman.
Dom and company are engaging performers and partiers. There was constant banter among bandmates and with the crowd, as there was no apparent line between the two. Drinks were passed from fans to band members with regularity, and the musicians chugged them down one after another in between gulps of the supply of beer they had brought onto stage themselves.
As they partied and talked shit, Supervillains vigorously jammed their tunes, which are poppy and rooted in dub and punk. At times, the crowd bobbed and swayed; at others, they moshed and skanked. They were always lively and moving, though. Folks who were perhaps too baked to move and were and standing still were dragged into the mix by more energetically inebriated attendees on more than one occasion.
The crowd sang as a sloppy chorus while the band played hits like "Resin," which was dedicated by Dom to "the people who smoked weed with us before the show and the people who are gonna smoke weed with us after the show." Other highlights included "20 Excuses," "Be Alright," and a well-placed cover of Sublime's "40 oz. to Freedom."
As the air became smokier, the floor more sticky with beer, and as speech slurred and eyes turned more and more bleary, smiles only grew wider and energy never waned. That goes for the crowd as well as the band. Both became increasingly hyped with each song, and everything seemed to get better for everyone as the night went on.
Perhaps there is also philosophical discussion to be had on the topic of whether intoxication always equals impairment or sometimes its opposite. In response to the Supervillains show at Culture Room, all that will be said in that vein is that their ability to stir a room full of people, themselves included, into a partying frenzy seemed to be as keen as could be.
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The crowd: Baked by the sun and other elements into a happy, crispy state.
Random detail: Supervillains like Irish car bombs, a lot.