Rampage Fest ft. Nü Sensae, White Lung, Allah-Las, and More, Sail Inn
|The crowd at Rampage Fest.|
The unease came to an apex when somebody tried to stage dive off the monitors, prompting an attempt by one of the promoters to remove the diver from the building. A minor kerfuffle ensued, the band cut out, and there occurred what a friend of mine aptly referred to as a "cultural misunderstanding." But peace was attained, eventually. Fortune from Wax Idols soothed the fray down below. "Let's all be good to each other," Andrea said from above, casting regrets aside and resuming her screaming.
Jim Louvau Nü Sensae performing at Rampage Fest at Sail Inn.
Problem was, there was little energy left in the room for White Lung, the other rapidly ascending Vancouver hardcore band, and gold-throated singer Mish Way knew it. Again, the mix was dreadful, and her vocals were nowhere to be found. The crowd was motionless; the drummer's crash cymbal flew off the stand after the first song. I could understand the frustration -- theirs is a precision brand of hardcore, with riffage and tempos so tightly wound that any lacking element will kill the overall impact. It was the aural equivalent of using a jackhammer to till posies in the front lawn. "I'm sorry," Way repeated, often crouching on the stage with her hands over her ears. There's definitely going to be some friction as hardcore music gains more real estate in the indie rock sphere.
On a totally different wavelength, soft-focus outfit the Allah-Las closed out the night. Playing the kind of first-wave guitar pop that charmed American teens before Chuck Berry and "Wild Thing" convinced all those nice boys with tidy haircuts to loosen their ties, Allah-Las were charming but smooth. Their ability to re-create the pristine guitar tones and luscious vocal hooks of that era got a number of people bopping around, but I would have been more game for something that mellow earlier in the evening. I've never been much for conversations about lipstick pickups, or side-by-side comparisons of mono and stereo Beatles pressings, but Allah-Las surely left a pleasant ring in everyone's ear on the ride home. Good luck in Texas, everyone. Stay hydrated and don't be sorry.