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All photos: Chris Chen

It’s been a while for Superchunk, but thankfully they’re back. Known more for turning Merge Records into a indie record powerhouse with releases from Arcade Fire and Spoon than for being a proper touring band this past decade, the Chapel-Hill, N.C. natives made their return to Washington, D.C. in support of their surprisingly great Majesty Shredding.
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During their hour and a half set of infectious, chugging, fun anthems that had even the most jaded person pogoing along Friday night, the band didn’t sound like a group that has played only a handful of dates for the past nine years.


Kicking things off right with “Throwing Things” from the seminal No Pocky For Kitty, Superchunk blasted through crowd favorites while featuring new material from the aforementioned Majesty Shredding. It was an especially tight set and the band used the entire hour and a half to play songs from across their discography. “Animated Airplanes Over Germany” was particularly surprising.

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The one thing that Superchunk showed the most that you don’t need to play 200 shows a year to stay relevant. Friday night was a perfect example of that. We can only hope that it doesn’t take them another nine years to play again in D.C.


Tommy Keene’s music was before my time. Cradled somewhere between Big Star’s Alex Chilton and The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg, Keene’s music is one of a cult following and fit into the overarching themes of nostalgia Friday night.

Keene’s set focused on material that’s now being reissued via a compilation titled You Hear Me: A Retrospective: 1983-2009. Songs like “Long Time Missing” and “Places That Are Gone” are perfect pieces of power-pop and they soared in the live setting.

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Keene also took the time to try out a few other drummers. Both Jon Wurster of Superchunk and his nephew (who had a pretty sick Replacements t-shirt on I might add) filled in during the band’s set and were both some of the high points in the show.

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London’s Let’s Wrestle were obviously tired when they took the stage early to a half-full room. It’s a shame if you showed up late, because you missed a really solid set. Picking the high-points from last year’s In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s, the trio blasted through their songs during their 35-minute set. The no-brainer single “We’re The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon” definitely registered high marks and “My Arms Don’t Bend That Way, Damn It!” was up there as well. Maybe next time we’ll get them at a later time slot.

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