I took a different approach to last Wednesday's Obits/Pile show at TTs in that I didn't overly prepare by immersing myself in the bands' music beforehand. I have the first two Obits albums and enjoy them, but haven't purchased the new one yet. I listened to it a few times on Spotify and knew the first two songs they released as free MP3s, but that's about it. As for Pile, I was familiar with their excellent "Prom Song" from their latest album dripping. I figured I'd just go in and let the sound hit me.
Pile was excellent, with singer-guitarist Rick Maguire and guitarist Matt Becker laying on the waves of heaviness throughout. The band's 40-minute set was thunderous, and even though I didn't know the songs, it really didn't matter. As a visceral experience, Pile managed to combine a sludgy heaviness with emotionally charged vocals. Definitely a band I plan to see again. I met Maguire and bassist Matt Connery at the merch table afterward and picked up dripping on vinyl for $10. Sweet.
Chicago punk act Heavy Times ripped through a set of fast and snotty songs before Obits hit the stage. I was excited about this show because I have dug frontman Rick Froberg's bands for years, especially Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. Obits played a blistering 55-minute set that was disappointing only in its brevity (still, being a Wednesday night, I wasn't complaining too much). Froberg's unique bark of a voice was in fine form, although it was hard to make out a lot of the vocals because of the sheer volume of the band. Froberg and guitarist Sohrab Habibion laid out snaky guitar lines that wove their way through the band's set, which was composed mostly of material from the new Bed & Bugs album. The band also featured drummer Alexis Fleisig of Girls Against Boys, filling in for departed sticksman Scott Gursky.
Although I'm still bummed I never saw Drive Like Jehu or Hot Snakes back in the day, seeing Obits kick ass makes up for that somewhat.