A Night of New Music

March 8th, 2010

Titus Andronicus – The Bowery Ballroom – March 6, 2010

Titus Andronicus - The Bowery Ballroom - March 6, 2010
The guys (and gal) of Titus Andronicus look exactly like they would name their shoegaze-punk band after a tragic Shakespearean character. In fact, they’re a pretty unassuming group. However, they took the Bowery Ballroom stage amidst crowd chants of “USA, USA, USA,” perhaps an excited nod to the band’s Bruce Springsteen-leaning, everyman-type songs or maybe it was just a booze-fueled join-along inspired by the American flag hanging from the keyboards. Nevertheless, the New Jersey band powered their way through a wonderfully long set that contained mostly material off their new “sort of” Civil War concept album, The Monitor, out tomorrow. Their sophomore full-length has already received much praise from critics for songs that waver between actual war imagery and everyday personal battles.

At Saturday’s highly anticipated sold-out show, frontman Patrick Stickles sonically spewed emotion with each word sung, while the crowd surged front and back and side to side in fits of fury, many times with hands outreached toward the stage. Songs like the raucous album opener, “A More Perfect Union,” “Four Score and Seven” and the disc’s closer, “The Battle of Hampton Roads,” were all standout tracks (with the band actually calling the latter a total rip-off of opening band Parts & Labor). But with its ebullient gang vocals, “Titus Andronicus Forever” was the top song of the night. —Kirsten Housel

Photos courtesy of Kirsten Housel