all words: Andy Hess
all photos: Flickr
Disclaimer: I was a fan of Titus Andronicus before I met them, but after playing in my living room twice in a one year period, I figure something like that should be mentioned before a review. Hooray, for objectivity!
It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve seen Titus Andronicus, it’s really only been since January when I saw them twice in a two day period. Lucky for us in the District, we were given the opportunity to see the group of New Jersey rabble rousers Sunday night at the Rock And Roll Hotel.
Even with the early show — the Rock And Roll Hotel had a lot of things going on Sunday — and the sparse crowd, it was hard not to get caught up in the guitar driven, bloody knuckle nihilist jams from the New Jersey quartet. There was even some skanking, which caught the eye of Patrick Stickles’ who gave a sarcastic shoutout: “I want to give a shout out to that guy. I’ve always wanted to see someone skank to our music and that finally happened.”
Stickles is surprisingly charming on stage and could possibly do standup if the whole band thing doesn’t work out (You should check out Titus Andronicus’ video blog. It’s quite hilarious). His banter included more than a few jokes regarding The Bravery — who were playing at the 9:30 Club and having their afterparty at the Rock And Roll Hotel — and it made for some great entertainment other than the band tuning their instruments between tracks.
Few bands offer access to such good time rock and roll and the songs off the band’s highly praised release The Airing of Grievances have hit their stride do to the relentless touring since it’s release. The obvious singles “Titus Andronicus” and “Upon Viewing Brueghel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus“ gained the most audience interaction with handclaps and poor attempts at crowd surfing. The highlight of the evening came when Titus Andronicus invited members of The So So Glos — who I was looking forward to and unfortunately missed — on stage to close out the set with a rousing cover of Billy Bragg’s “To Have And To Have Not”. A perfect closer for the beginning of the work week.