My first A Place To Bury Strangers live experience, four months ago, left me wanting more. This week I got the encore I was waiting for.
The band are back at Barfly but things are a little different: they are playing the smaller upstairs bar, and a good percentage of the (again, smaller) crowd are wearing gig-plugs.
I don’t know if these two things are related, perhaps some Darwinian evolution thing: those who are smart enough to wear earplugs survive, while those that are not go deaf and get run over by buses or something.
The show gets off to a slow start as the band wait for the stage lights to go out, only to be told that the switch is on the wall next to the stage... click... straight in to the swirling noise of Gimme Acid.
Don’t Think Lover and Fix the Gash in Your Head are next, and provide the highlights of a familiar set.
Tonight the band have brought their own light show: a projector that throws images of barren deserts, passing trees, and soft yellow daises over the band as they pound the audience into submission with feedback and volume.
Closer Ocean has front man Oliver Ackermann tearing the strings off his guitar while much of the audience close their eyes to avoid the nauseating strobe. Lunches stay down and all is forgiven when the band finish their set and walk into the crowd, chatting, signing merchandise and posing for pictures with anyone and everyone who asks.
While tonight was let down by the small crowd, A Place To Bury Strangers are still a great live act.