The Night Marchers @ The Satellite – 2.22.13 The Night Marchers @ The Satellite – 2.22.13

Photos By Ben Irwin // Words By Aaron Lavine

Night Marchers - Satellite - 2-22-13_BI0406.jpg Night Marchers - Satellite - 2-22-13_BI0456.jpg

If you’re going to buy John Reis (aka Swami/Speedo/Slasher) a beer, and you’re going to want to because he gets pretty fucking sweaty up on that stage, you better leave the cap on. One of Reis’s hard-learned lessons from the road is that open beers are frequently full of piss. Not figurative piss like a Milwaukee’s Best or something. Real human urine. At least I’m assuming it was human, but if you’re the sort of person that is trying to serve people piss beer, maybe that’s not a safe assumption.

But I digress. You’re not reading this for the piss stories, you’re reading this for a review of The Night Marchers’ rocking garage punk show at the Satellite. We’re getting there, but to a limited extent, they’re one in the same. The show was frequently, and often charmingly, punctuated by Speedo ’s appreciative, funny banter with the crowd, specifically some drunk dude named Henry. Hence the piss story.

It wasn’t just banter. There was plenty of show at the show, too. Early in the set, the band — Reis, along with Hot Snakes’ cohorts Gar Wood and Jason Kourkounis, and Tommy Kitsos — tore into fan favorite “Scene Report” with its machine gun guitar riffs and allusions to 60’s garage classic “Surfin’ Bird” (you know the one…b-b-b-b-b-bird bird bird, bird is the word). The band didn’t let off the gas for the rest of the night.

The band played a mix of songs from 2008’s See You in Magic and their new album Allez, Allez. Without straying too far from its garage punk heart, the Night Marchers’ songs cover a wider swath of styles than some of Reis’s other projects, such as Rocket from the Crypt or the Hot Snakes. The songs variously feature staccato punk riffs, bluesy ZZ Top boogies and four on the floor grooves with the common thread that they all kick ass. Like those of his other bands, the Night Marchers’ show was loud, fast, hot and energetic.

The Night Marchers closed out the show with a two-song encore, finishing with the highlight of the night, “In Dead Sleep.” Mirroring the energy of the crowd, the band gradually built up momentum over the course of the song, building to a furious crescendo as they climbed to higher and higher keys each measure, backed by Reis’s repeated screamed “Z Z Z Z Z!” refrain.

For anyone familiar with any of Reis’s bands, it should come as no surprise that the Night Marchers put on a raucous, balls-out show for an excited, nearly capacity crowd. Well-worth the price of admission, as always.

The Night Marchers were supported by Mrs. Magician (sorry, I missed them) and the Intelligence, who recently relocated to L.A. from Seattle. The Intelligence is the main project of Lars Finberg, who I knew from his work as one of two drummers in Thee Oh Sees’ lineup. I was surprised, but quickly impressed, seeing him front and center, singing with guitar in hand. As impressed as I was with the band, I was equally disappointed that I came to them so late. Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me is the band’s eighth album, in addition to a number of singles, splits and EPs, and from what I can gather, it’s all really good. Finberg and company create noisy, spacey, post-punk garage pop that’s definitely worthy of repeated listens, be it their albums or at their live shows.

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