With the passing on of so many of the bands that I turn to for the rock, from Mclusky to Thee Snuff Project to Ikara Colt, it’s comforting to realize that Read Yellow is still very much alive and kicking. And doing somersault headstands. And jumping from the stage. And dropping to their knees under the pressure of rocking so hard. I’ve seen Read Yellow now a few times, and somehow I always forget just how fantastic they are until I’m at the show. Unfortunately, I was one of the few at the Mercury Lounge, wondering about what might have been if Death From Above 1979 hadn’t fallen ill and pulled out of the pre-sold out show.
Those who stayed away due to the weather (god damn it’s cold out there) or in the mistaken assumption that without DFA79 there wouldn’t be much of show missed out on the finest that Amherst, MA has to offer. Read Yellow lead singer Evan Kenney screamed, stomped around, contorted on the floor, hurled himself off the stage, all the while delivering a barrage of tracks off of their stellar Fenway Records debut Radios Burn Faster. Their bio warns about their live show encouraging “audience participation and attempts to eliminate the division between band and crowd.” Kenney became part of the crowd several times during the show, able to leave his guitar behind on stage because of the wall of noise created by frenetic guitarist Jesse Vuona, cool and sassy bassist Michelle Kay and drum man Paul Koelle. Check out their site for a couple MP3s, including a Read Yellow-ized “Bigmouth Strikes Again” cover from the How Soon Is Now? Smiths cover album. The kids are going up to Canada to tour with the Dillinger Escape Plan, make sure you check them out when they come through your part of the country. Don’t sleep on what a bunch of poor, misguided New Yorkers missed out on yesterday.