Wussy @ Northside Tavern, Cincinnati, OH [4/28/06]
So it seems like I picked the right time to cut out of New York. Not too much in the way of news the past couple of days, unless you consider Wilco not playing Siren Fest to be news. Personally, I consider it a blessing. It makes it significantly less likely that I'll feel compelled to go sit out under the 90 degree sun in the overcrowded concrete playpen that is Siren Fest. And no 2 hour ride on the F train. Phew. Thank you Jeff.
Plus, I also timed my trip to Cincinnati so I could finally check out Wussy in concert. The band's stellar debut album, Funeral Dress [BUY], came out last fall, but, for various reasons, the band hasn't done a whole lot of touring in support of the album. When I saw that they were doing a hometown set last night, I figured it might be my only chance to see them for a while.
Interesting show. They played at a bar called the Northside Tavern, which, although it hosts live music most nights of the week, really is not particularly suited to hosting bands -- at least not in its current configuration. As you may be able to see in the photos below, the band setup is at the very front of the bar, right next to the bar's lone entrance. The bar takes up one half of the room, and the other half is filled with tables and chairs. That leaves about a 3 foot wide area to stand, which is constantly being filled with people (a) entering the bar, (b) leaving the bar, and (c) getting a drink at the bar. So, it doesn't leave a whole lot of room to stand and watch a band. I managed to find myself a safe spot at the back of the main room, on a small step so that I had a slightly better view of the band. Oh, and they have $2.50 beers, so that was good.
As for the band, it's pretty obvious that they haven't done a whole lot of touring recently. When they were on, they sounded great. But they're an easily distracted lot, talking with friends in the crowd, joking with one another, and while one song might be great, the next might devolve into a bit of a mess. That said, the messier songs were the newer ones which they still seem to be working out. The stuff from Funeral Dress, like
sounded great. And the new songs, while a bit sloppy at times, sound like they're going to be great on album. A guy I was talking to in the crowd said that the band is either already recording their second album or about to. Awesome.
If you haven't checked them out before, be sure to try the links, and if you like what you hear, pick up the album. Onto the pics: