Parquet Courts, Destruction Unit, Dogbreth - Crescent Ballroom - 1/20/13

Categories: Last Night

Destruction Unit onstage at the Crescent Ballroom last night.
Destruction Unit had a whirlwind 2013, with a marathon SxSW itinerary, tours of Europe, and a litany of releases, including Void and their Sacred Bones debut Deep Trip, which found its way on to plenty of high profile year-end lists. Taking the stage with the Ascetic House crest projected behind them, Destruction Unit's set was uncompromisingly loud.

Destruction Unit's Ryan Rousseau.
"Frontman" Ryan Rousseau, who happened to be stationed far stage right, howled out songs like "Bumpy Road" while buried under waves of manipulated guitar. Guitarist Nick Nappa did his best to keep his Stratocaster (or effects pedals) hoisted above his head for most of the set, while drummer Andrew Flores and bassist Rusty Rousseau did their own heavy lifting, providing a grounding that had zealous fans moshing while much of the crowd stood dazed.

The crowd -- particularly the kids fenced off away from the bar -- didn't let up for Parquet Courts. I'm sure there's been stage-diving at the Crescent in the past, but I hadn't seen it before last night.

"What is this, the under-21 section?" guitarist/vocalist Andrew Savage asked gesturing to the all-ages section. "I can tell. You're having the most fun."

"Look what you have to look forward to," he added, deadpan. The drinkers in the audience livened up as the band performed new material, like the lumbering "She's Rollin'" before pushing into tracks from Light Up Gold. The new stuff found the band stretching out in intriguing directions, but the shift into tighter compositions turned up the crowd's intensity.


Fill-in drummer Greg Rutheford (sitting in for Max Savage) played with relentless economy, locked in tightly with bassist Sean Yeaton (who curiously head-bangs in half-time). Savage and guitarist Austin Brown traded off on vocals, blasting through their best songs: "Master of My Craft," "Careers in Combat," "Yr No Stoner," and "Borrowed Time."

Parquet Courts at Crecent Ballroom last night.

Finishing with a decimating "Sunbathing Animal" (all amplifiers set to "stun"), the band evacuated the stage. The crowd waited for a return, perhaps to hear the band's "hit" song, "Stoned and Starving," only to see the house lights come up. It's for the best: Punk, in all its mutations, is best without encores.

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Parquet Courts, Destruction Unit, Dogbreth at Crescent Ballroom

The Crowd: Co-ed, varying in age (saw a few old school types in addition to the leather jacketed-youth, a very good thing) and happy to be there. Especially that under-21 section.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Why didn't they play 'Stoned and Starving?' That's the best song on the album." (It isn't.)

The Award for Greatest All-Time Musical Transition: Goes to the sound man at Crescent, for cranking up the Jackson 5's "Give Me One More Chance" up in the mix as Destruction Unit finished their sonic assault.

See also:

Indie Punk Band Parquet Courts Cares a Lot
Local Collective Ascetic House Will Send Its Cassettes to the Incarcerated -- For Free
Destruction Unit: Former Reatard Grows Up and Spaces Out

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Location Info

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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Hahaha... JP, you shoulda been at the Wooden Indian / Rubber Brothers release... there was stage diving and a tragic carpet ride;)

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