Ian Witlen for AOL One of the more anticipated satellite art fairs…
- Posted on Dec 2nd 2010 1:00PM by Colin St. John
Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images
But the lack of snow tires didn't faze No Age, as they revel in such chaos. Vocalist-drummer Spunt and guitarist Randall, who have recently been joined by William Kai Strangeland-Menchaca on the sampler for this tour, raged through fierce selections from their three-album catalog. Spunt's lyrics were mostly indecipherable -- which was noticeably a letdown for some fans not overly-familiar with the material -- but his drumming was bruising. 'Every Artist Needs a Tragedy,' the band's opener from its first record, Weirdo Rippers, pierced with power-chord intensity while 'Depletion,' one of the best songs from the duo's latest, 'Everything In Between,' provided a much-need melodic gasp of air.
The overall feel of No Age is a ragged distortion and the group has, visually, doubled down on that venture with a full-screen projection on the back of the stage. Images of everything from acid test Petri dishes bubbling over to a '2001: A Space Odyssey'-esque eyeball pigment transformation intersperse with vague digital silhouettes of the band members doing their thing. In reality, the image of a man being repeatedly being hit in the head with a door might as well be a warning to not wear earplugs to a No Age concert. As disorienting as it all can be, the band makes concessions: Strangeland-Menchaca's atmospheric intervals, which mimic the strong instrumental numbers on Spunt and Randall's albums, were respite defined. The sample man's best moment came during a booming version of 'Eraser' from 'Nouns,' which was made full and enhanced beyond expectation by his presence.
Still, these are, as previously mentioned, L.A. boys and this, at heart, is a punk band. Spunt not only name-checked a couple of Denver-area underground spots -- as if to prove, not self-absorbingly, a certain amount of cred -- but got down to brass tacks at the end of the show. Without the help of their third man, Spunt and Randle completed their encore with one of the most bare-bones songs in the annals: 'Six Pack' by Black Flag. The revolutionary Hermosa Beach van-dwellers of the '70s and '80s, Black Flag would certainly be proud of No Age, a 21st century incarnation.