Hot off performing at several live shows for CMJ 2013, Weekend made their last pit stop in Brooklyn to perform at the Glasslands Gallery on Kent Avenue. Glasslands is a no-frills music oriented venue which is extremely easy to drive past if you don’t know what you are looking for. I nearly drove past it myself until I saw the bouncer standing outside. Entry to the venue once we arrive was quite easy and we walked in to find a nearly empty room. It was a Tuesday after all and it was still early. All of the staff members were quite friendly from the bouncer, to the guest-list girl, and the bartenders. The doors opened at 8:30 but the bands did not take the stage still shortly after 9pm. There were random tracks being played through the venues system to pass the time. As I explored I found a table selling merchandise from each of the bands, and a staircase that lead to a small upstairs loft area. The bathroom was hidden behind the bar and the lighting control station was located in front of it slightly to the right of the cozy dance floor. The stage was small and the instruments on it were packed in tightly so it was evident there would not be much movement in the performance that was about to occur.
The bar had a decent selection of low priced drinks. I really liked the fact that they served Woodchuck cider. Not many venues I’ve attended in the past keep it in stock. The lighting was dim overall for the most part except for when the visual engineer decided to play around with the lit up RGB fixtures on the ceiling. In some online photos I looked at prior to attending I noticed a fluffy cloudlike formation above the stage with some lights going through it but it seems that it was removed from the venue. After doing some research I found out it was taken down earlier this year. What a shame, it actually gave the venue a bit more pizzazz. All that remained were some black and white sheets as the backdrop. I also noticed that there were no art installations on the wall. I saw only one small painting and was rather disappointed. I chalk it up to the possibility of some construction going on, or at least I hope. We made our way up the stairs to the loft area carefully and a bright green light near the staircase lit the way for us. We were greeted by rusty ceilings, exposed pipes, and a makeshift banister made out of various pieces of wood, metal, and or branches, even including a few pieces from a broken exercise bike. The walls were covered in chipping paint and graffiti and there was minimal place to sit so most of the people in this area sat Indian style on the floor or with their legs hanging off the edge. This place was far from glitz and glamour. It was talent driven and a place to be heard by up and comers.
At a little after 9 the opening band Nothing took the stage. Pardon me for not being familiar with all the names of the band members. There wasn’t much I could dig up on these guys searching the web since their band’s name is not very distinct. The drummer sat down in front of his drum set and immediately took his shirt off. One could assume he was either hot or just wanted to show off his tattoos. After a quick sound check with an abundance of high pitched feedback they began to play. I quickly noticed the feedback was intentional and they began most of their tracks with it. One of the guitarists took his shoes off and was playing while standing in his socks. Perhaps it made it easier for him to control the pedals. He was also having some equipment malfunction as his guitar strap was attached with masking tape and came loose during their performance. It was rather embarrassing but he didn’t let it get to him or affect his performance, he just leaned over near the drums and put one of his legs up in a stance and kept on playing. Luckily there was a friend in the crowd that brought him another piece of masking tape so he could secure his guitar and continue to play comfortably. I really feel like the music they played was way too heaving for an opening band. Their music was very loud and hard so it was time I put my earplugs in. The volume also seemed way too overwhelming for the size of the venue. In between tracks one of the vocalists [which you could barely hear I might add] burped into the microphone, and I vaguely heard him say he had eaten some mushrooms and was trying to hold himself back from vomiting. Definitely not something a crowd wants to hear, particularly the ones standing right in front of him. Nonetheless there were a few giggles. After Nothing played a few more floor rattling tracks the stage was cleared and prepared for the next band of the night. A large portion of the room cleared and went outside and used this intermission as time for a smoke break.
As Chicago based band Disappears took the stage the sound in the room was much more enjoyable to my sensitive ears. Their style of shoegazey alternative rock was both groovy and dreamy. They played their set seamlessly. By this point it was after 10pm and a larger crowd filled the room. The crowd stood shoulder to shoulder in awe of their sound. Disappears created a sound that only a band with three guitarists could create. The crowd cheered them on in between tracks and while there was no dancing going on there certainly was an intense amount of head bobbing and toe tapping. As more people filled the room the temperature inside rose from the body heat which was not a bad thing since it was pretty chilly outside. The upstairs loft area was much less crowded so we escaped up there for some space. To our surprise there was now an available spot on the leather couch planted in the corner. We sat and enjoyed the rest of Disappears set. The lead singer/guitarist Brian Case was really into it and you could tell because his eyes were closed for nearly the entire performance. In his mind all of us and the room itself likely disappeared and all that existed were the instruments and vocals. I’ve been there before! It was easy to get lost in the echoes. The acoustics upstairs were not as good as they are on the dance floor so we found ourselves making our way back downstairs once Weekend began to play.
The moment we have all been waiting for finally arrived. San Francisco based band Weekend made their appearance and after a quick tweak of the microphone and sound they took over our eardrums. Hearing them play made the journey to Williamsburg on a week night so worth it. They really saved the day and their music stole the show, exactly as headliners should. I would definitely love to go see them again, and I felt they deserve to play at a much bigger venue on a weekend (no pun intended hehe). Fog began to fill the room and while it was fantastic in creating an ambiance it sure put a damper on taking photos. I was captivated by the bass that was resonating in my chest but as time went on we knew the event was approaching the end. Following this performance the band has a few dates in Canada and then they are touring Europe. Weekend is due to land is Switzerland in the beginning of November.
I never saw the DJ’s that were listed on the bill and I assumed they were the ones playing the music in between sets somewhere out of sight. All in all it was a fun night, especially the latter part. We made our way out the doors and took our last glance at the gorgeous waterfront view overlooking the city, along with the festively lit red, white, and blue Empire State Building. We then began the drive home through the oddly quiet streets of Williamsburg around midnight.
Review by Zaneta Ortiz
Weekend European Dates
11/2 Dudingen, Switzerland Dudingen – Bad Bonn*
11/3 Zurich, Switzerland – Rote Fabrik*
11/4 Munich, Germany – Feierwerk*
11/5 Leipzig, Germany – UT Connewitz*
11/6 Schorndorf, Germany – Club Manufaktur*
11/7 Kortrijk, Belgium – De Kreun*
11/8 London, UK – Birthdays*
11/9 Holland, Amsterdam – Meneer Malasch
11/11 Oslo, Sweden – Blaa
11/12 – Stravanger, Sweden – Folken
11/13 – Bergen, Sweden – Ujevnt
11/14 – Oslo, Sweden – Mir
11/15 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Have Stengade
11/16 – Berlin, Germany – Monarch
11/17 – Stuttgart, Germany – 1210
11/18 – Luzern, Switzerland – Treibhaus Club
11/19 – Lyon, France – Le Sonic
11/20 – Toulouse, France – Le Connexion
11/21 – Paris, France – L’espace B
11/22 – Rennes, France – LE 1988
11/23 – Guildford, UK – Boileroom
11/24 – Bristol, UK – Start The Bus
11/25 – London, UK – Windmill
11/26 – Manchester, UK – Guillivers
11/27 – London, UK – Lexington
11/29 – Athens, Greece – Six D.O.G.S.
* = w/ Deafheaven
Weekend Remaining U.S. Tour Dates
10/22 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands Gallery ¥
10/24 Montreal, QC – Il Motore ¥
10/25 Toronto, ON – The Garrison ¥
10/26 Rochester, NY – Bug Jar
¥ = w/ Disappears
This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.