By show’s end, the Knitting Factory floor was covered in beer and hard candy and Silly String and confetti and paper mache. The stage was in worse shape. Five or six people were escorted out of the club. AKA just another Cheeseburger show.
Actually this was wilder than most. The audience was drunker than the band, with people leaping on stage, grabbing the mic from singer Joe Bradley, who also got his shirt ripped apart.
The reason for all the mayhem? The fifth anniversary of Jinners.com. In the pre-Brooklyn Vegan days, it was one of the best sources for upcoming shows and maybe the first blog I was really aware of. Jin’s also a band manager, and I’m pretty sure has about 20 other irons in the fire. She’s pretty hooked up. This meant a formidible lineup — Cheeseburger, Neckbeard Telecaster and The Big Sleep. (I didn’t see Coin Under Tongue.) She also brought party favors, consisting mostly of useful tchokies from her time at ASCAP — little notebooks for writing down setlists, flashlight pens for writing on them, and loads of earplugs.
By the middle of The Big Sleep‘s performance a lot of those goodie bags had been torn apart to get at those earplugs. With their stark floodlights, smoke machines and their psychedelic riff-heavy jams, The Big Sleep are a sensory assault. I know a lot of people dislike them intensely but I really dig it.
Neckbeard Telecaster are one of those bands I’ve been meaning to see for some time. All I knew was it was a side-project of Dirty on Purpose‘s Joe Jurewicz and that they were sorta country. What I didn’t know was that there were 15 of them and how awesome they are. "Joe’s got a policy that anyone who wants to be in the band is in the band," is what DoP bassist DJ told me, and the stage was proof. There were members of World Without Magic, the Jealous Girlfriends, Adam Franklin’s band, plus people I recognized from around Williamsburg: one of the baristas at Oslo, a guy who works at UVA wine, and like six more. All dudes. Beer flowed like water and whiskey flowed like beer. Drunken bearded dudes, yes, but a lot of talented musicians, sweet harmonies, good songs… the good vibes abounded.
Since half the audience was onstage for Neckbeard passing around bottle of Jack Daniels, the crowd was good and primed for the rock-n-roll debauchery that is Cheeseburger. I’ve said before that they’ve gone from being known for drunken buffoonery to a genuinely kickass rock band… but Monday’s show seemed like a regression of sorts, although I think the guys were much less intoxicated than the audience. I spent so much time dodging thrown liquids, moshers, silly string, pinatas and the like that I don’t really remember much about the songs or the performance. But it was a whole lot of fun.