Review of Face To Face, Strung Out, The Darlings @ Starland Ballroom 5/20/11
As I watched Friday night’s show at Starland Ballroom, I couldn’t resist thinking to myself, “how the hell did this happen?” Face to Face, as it goes for many punk bands these days, has been a revolving door since its conception, strikingly decades ago as “Zero Tolerance.” It’s been quite some time since I’ve attended a pure, punk show and this was certainly the one to see.
The night began with a solid set from The Darlings. Although I've no prior exposure to this band, they sounded great. The band was tight, they had a very strong presence, and an abundance of pop hooks as well.
Next up was strung out. These guys seem to be as timeless as Face to Face but, unfortunately the sound just didn't do them justice. I'm convinced that Strung Out is the real deal because the band was evidently tight, but the levels were a bit off. The high-end of the guitars overpowered the band and drowned out the vocals. On the same hand, the engineer was unable to give the vocal a decibel or two because the lead, full-voice microphone techniques seemed a bit sloppy.
The highly anticipated reunion with Face to Face front man, Trever Keith, seems to be going pretty damn well. Regardless of the release of a new record, the band performed the majority of, material from, what I feel, are their strongest releases, “Face to Face” and “Big Choice.” In passing, here’s an anecdotal observation: If the band is having fun, there’s a high probability that it’s going to be a great show…unless they just suck. Face to Face certainly did not suck. These guys played like they just struck their first record deal. Although I’ve been far removed from the punk scene as of late, I was abruptly reminded that this particular generation of punk bands does not just palm mute power chords, hold their noses, and whine about their dads. The chemistry and musicianship was unreal.
Photos by Lazlo
(click on photo see full size)
Face To Face