Parquet Courts – Kings Arms March 9, 2015

13thFloor-ParquetCourts-14It may have been Monday night, but the atmosphere at Auckland’s Kings Arms felt like a rowdy Saturday night as Brooklyn indie darlings Parquet Courts headlined a bill that featured four bands including the late addition of The Courtneys.

“Sold out, bro”, announced the handwritten sign on the door of the venerable rock and roll venue as fans lined up to join in the fun.

Inside it was hot but that outside area provided plenty of room to move around and do some socializing.

When I arrived, Auckland’s Civil Union was just finishing their set. It was loud…and I’m not sure about that Marilyn Manson T-shirt.

It wasn’t long before another local band made their way to the stage. Salad Boys got the crowd’s attention, but I felt, as their set progressed, they sounded a bit dull and under rehearsed. Eventually I wandered away and watched the cricket on the monitor on the deck.

13thFloor-TheCourtneys-15Next up was The Courtneys. By this time it was 10:30 and it was clear we were in for a late Monday night. No complaints though, and kudos to the promoter for adding the band at the last minute, even though the show had sold out…great value for money.

The three women rocked out for about 40 minutes, setting the stage for Brooklyn’s finest.

After what has to be one of the fastest turnarounds in music history, Parquet Courts were on stage just about 15 minutes after The Courtneys left.

Immediately the energy level rose as the quartet began with the brief instrumental Up All Night (how appropo) before launcing into You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now from their 2013 EP, Tally All The Things You Broke.

They wasted no time digging into their set, ripping into one song after another with precision and fury.

The three front men…Andrew Savage (guitar), Sean Yeaton (bass), Austin Brown (guitar) sang in unison during Vienna II providing a united front.

And indeed, these guys feel like a band in the best sense, united in their need to rock out.

Their New York roots were clearly in evidence…the angular guitar lines and Andrew Savage’s vocals, in particular, recalling Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Television.

Highlights included the jittery Ducking And Dodging and the laconic Dear Ramona.

“How about that World Cup of Cricket?”, deadpanned Savage before playing Psycho Structures.

The only drawback was the fact that Savages lyrics were getting lost in the mix…but this performance seemed more about energy than intimacy…if you want to hear the words, buy the albums.

And there were plenty of words to the slow, jangly Uncast Shadows Of A Southern Myth as the lyrics tumbled endlessly from Savage. Austin Brown topped the tune off with a stirring slide guitar solo.

By 12:32 it was all over. An encore was called for but not delivered. These four New Yorkers know enough to keep the fans wanting more.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery of Parquet Courts and The Courtneys by Issac Newcombe:

  1. Up All Night
  2. You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now
  3. Bodies Made Of
  4. Black And White
  5. Vienna II
  6. Instant Disassembly
  7. Ducking And Dodging
  8. New Age (Blitz)
  9. Everyday It Starts
  10. Master Of My Craft
  11. Borrowed Thyme
  12. Careers In Combat
  13. Dear Ramona
  14. Psycho Structures
  15. Pretty Machines
  16. Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth
  17. Content Nausea
  18. Light Up Gold II
  19. Sunbathing Animal

Note…several of the songs ran into each other and the vocals were difficult to discern. This set list is based on the band’s onstage set list…it may not accurately reflect what they actually played. Corrections are welcome.