This is totally late, because my photos went up on SiC on Wednesday along with my thoughts on Against Me!’s set, but I wanted to write about first openers the Shondes, too, and it took me a day or four.
The Shondes are a punk band from Brooklyn; fronted by the fierce and dynamic Louisa Rachel Solomon, they’re not quite the world-influenced klezmer-punk of my beloved Firewater, but they’re pretty damn close. Their half hour opening set absolutely blew me away. A four piece punk band is normal, but a four piece punk band with a violinist is not, and it’s Elijah Oberman’s playing (and Solomon’s monster voice) that makes them a step above any other punk band from Brooklyn. It’s melodic and loud, catchy and driving, and it does have that flavor of “somewhere else” that makes, for me, Firewater’s latest few records so appealing. And they put on a hell of a show, too; Solomon and Oberman are tornados on the stage, and it was the most fun I’d had shooting in a long time. (Until Against Me!, of course, which is not to denigrate the Shondes but more to remind myself that punk shows: I enjoy photographing them.)
The Garden, out last year, is their latest release, and it’s fantastic. A little political and a little angry and a lot songs that are about to be your new favorites, I recommend the album and the Shondes themselves 100%.
Full photo set is over here on Flickr.