Roughly 250 people forwent last night's presidential debate for Titus Andronicus' record release show, at which the band played what frontman Patrick Stickles called their "longest set ever"—almost two hours of fan favorites old and new, even a song not on any album called "I Got a Date Tonight." (Stickles apologized for his heteronormative introduction to the song—that was his word, "heteronormative"—and gave a shout out to all the dudes dating dudes in the crowd.) The show was also a goodbye: Titus heads out on a seven-week North American tour this morning.
Liquor Store, which includes Titus' original drummer Sarim Al-Rawi, went on first, amping the crowd with its extended jams over driving rock n' roll. They started late because, I heard in the crowd, they got stuck in traffic.
Dan Friel went on next, sitting down, playing keyboard, wildly looping passages over prerecorded samples. (At least that's what it sounded like: he was sitting down, and it was hard to see what he was doing over everybody's heads!)
Ryan and Zach of the So So Glos, working the bar.
Stickles by the merch table before the Titus set, going over the set list with drummer Eric Harm.
The set opened with the two first songs off the new album, Local Business
, to which everybody in the crowd seemed to know all the words already, and moved quickly onto older songs, including a rousing rendition of "A More Perfect Union." The crowd went apeshit for TRAMPS LIKE US, BABY WE WERE BORN TO DIE! among other lines throughout the night.
The drummer's father, Steve Harm—"Eric's dad!"—joined the band on stage for "Tried to Quit Smoking," playing harmonica accompaniment on the opening and bluesy cross harp on the end. "That's right, he knows two kinds of harp," Stickles said. Next to him is Adam Reich, guitarist and recent addition to the band. (Full disclosure: Adam is my friend.)
Stickles among his adoring fans.
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