It was questionable at best that the show would even happen. There were all sorts of unforeseen forces at work apparently trying everything within their powers to keep the No Age / Liars tour from ever getting off the ground.
First, Liars frontman Angus Andrews just happened to throw his back out something awful just before they were to head off on the road. But, since, as he put it, he didn’t want to be the one responsible for killing everyone’s fun, Andrews pulled himself up by the boot straps, determined to deliver the goods—even if that meant he would be sitting for a good portion of the show.
Then there was the snow. According to an aspirated Dean Spunt, the singer/drummer half of the No Age duo, they barely made it to Salt Lake City due to a harrowing trip down from the lands of Idaho. But still, as he busied himself setting up his gear, getting ready to open for the Liars, he couldn’t help but just be happy to finally be on tour, and out of the van.
Perhaps it was that pent-up frustration and relief from having faced perilous road conditions to even make it to The Urban Lounge on Thursday, Jan. 31 that added something extra to their energy and mystique—guitarist Randy Randall never even taking off his faux fur-lined parka. In any case, it was definitely Salt Lake City’s treat as No Age charged through a set that include a mix of both tracks off of their critically celebrated Weird Rippers and their forth coming Sub Pop release Nouns.
Even though most fans of the Liars are on board with never quite being able to pin down where these guys are going to go next with their sound or look, things this time around seemed even more precarious. Andrews had hinted at this tour being different due to his limited motion capabilities, even poking fun at the fact that maybe now he could focus on singing since he obviously couldn’t be doing his standard cartwheels and such on stage. And within minutes of hitting the stage I quickly understood why Andrews typically spends most of his time writhing and ranting about.
Looking around at all the people crowded within two feet of a seated Andrews provided ample more fodder; even while debilitated, the sheer driving beats and sonic wailing of the Liars couldn’t help but propel most into uninhibited motion.
Sure every once and awhile Andrews couldn’t help but stand up and belt through a couple of tunes, but really it didn’t matter. With or without a strong back and sitting or standing painfully erect, in any case the Liars delivered the goods they have built their reputation on as one of the better live acts around. If not the various roadblocks they have already come face to face with, it is truly hard to imagine what could possibly stop these guys. (Story by Jacob Stringer; blogging by Jamie Gadette; photos by Benjamin Stringer)