My Northside Festival started over at the House of Vans, the former factory building complex, turned indoor skate park, that also becomes a free concert spot several times a year complete with free beer and other attractions for those who RSVP. This show was also opened up to those who had Northside Badges, so this is where my voyage embarked. The show started off with the whirling riot giirl-ish pop/punk troupe from LA The Paranoyds, followed by Brooklyn’s own uniquely hard-rockin’ and shoegazy psych trio Sunflower Bean, then was rounded out by an oddly situated yet organically funky avant-garde jazz ensemble Badbadnotgood from Toronto. Then, you had the headliner DIIV who are widely regarded as the kings of the modern shoegaze sound. Since forming out of another Brooklyn shoegazing band Beach Fossils several years back, they have come to define the genre’s sound as a whole, with dark and gloomy tones, a strangely contrary sun-drenched smoothness, combined with winding and twisting guitar rhythms, and all saturated with reverb-flooded vocals, all of which often reminds me of The Cure set to a more hypnotizing tempo. They play a lot from their first album Oshin that was such an huge indie sensation a few years back, but they also played quite a lot from their newly stoned-out follow-up Is The Is Are.
After that, I hopped down to Baby’s All Right for a late show that featured Portland’s dreamy alt-pop band Pure Bathing Culture as the opener. Well after midnight, the British gloom-rockers Eagulls invaded the stage with their major throwback to the early days of Brit post-punk, in the style of Joy Division, Modern English, Echo and The Bunnymen, and Bauhaus to name a few that come to mind, although with a more over-powering beat and even heavier sonic bursts. They captivated the audience with many songs off their indie triumph self-titled debut from a couple years back as well as quite a lot from their even more diverse new LP Ullages, all set to the eerie backdrop of the classic 1920’s expressionist silent film Metropolis.
Article: Dean Keim