Paisley Reich Fest recap

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

As previewed last week, Times New Viking threw itself a party Saturday at Cafe Bourbon Street to celebrate its new album, Present the Paisley Reich.

When TNV released Dig Yourself in August 2005, the accompanying blowout at Andyman's Treehouse found the band in top form, a blustery whirlwind of smoke and fuzz that destroyed all in its path. The show is one of my fondest memories since I started following local music that summer, so while I had high hopes for Saturday's Paisley Reich Fest, I wasn't expecting it to trump the band's last album-release go-round.

Consider it trumped. TNV's magic struck again, justifying the slug through nearly five hours of hit-or-miss* performances before them. At first the headliners' set seemed doomed to be an anti-climactic afterthought to a long night. But then Jared Phillips wisely listened to bandmate Adam Elliott and turned up his guitar. Can you say second wind?

The ensuing carnage was thrilling. It was like somebody opened up the Ark of the Covenant in there—the band careening off the rails but holding it together, the crowd going bonkers and erupting into an absurd series of mosh pits, the legend being sealed amidst the chaos. It's a brand new era, and it feels great. (It's a brand new era, but it came too late? We'll see.)

*Highlights and lowlights of the eight-band opening stretch, plus photos, after the jump:

--Cheater Slicks ruled. I've seen a few whiffs from these 20-year veterans, so this knockout was a pleasant surprise. Now I get what all the fuss is about. This was just expert execution of the raw proto-punk Columbus is known for, even if it doesn't dominate our local sound anymore.

--Psychedelic Horsesh-- had an off night. Their music is always in shambles on purpose, but they have a way of channeling the greats and turning their shows into a transcendent, utterly memorable brand of slop. On this night, for the most part, it was regular old slop.

--I have to fess up: Amazingly, I managed not to see Sword Heaven before this weekend. Biggest mistake of my life. That was some futuristic caveman sh--, and I can't wait to see it again.

--The grueling wait between Cheater Slicks and the joint set by Envelope and Hugs & Kisses could have killed the show's momentum. For those who can't stand the Hugs' performance art shtick, it probably did. But this extended sketch sold me on these guys just as much as their excellent album did. Consider me a convert.

Photo fun! Not pictured: Clockcleaner (too much strobe), Mike Rep & the Quotas (missed 'em)