Event Review: Black Eyes & Neckties at Bay St. Coffee

So, you haven’t seen Black Eyes & Neckties live? Oh, honey, you have to.

I don’t know why I put it off for so long, especially when I’d heard nothing but enthusiastic reviews to the tune of “oh! God! Best live show ever!”, and every clip of their music I’d heard I loved, and every band they’ve been compared to is inevitably one I adore (think Murder City Devils, The Deadlines)–and especially given the fact that I’ve known 4/6 bandmembers at some point in time but haven’t seen any of ’em for years.

The moment of truth came at last. Black Eyes & Neckties played at the Bay St. Coffeehouse last night, with Racetrack and a couple other bands that we missed, and Lyle, Mitch and I were there. It was great.

While Racetrack was fun to listen to, the three of us were squeezed onto a love seat somewhere near the back of the shop and all we could see of the show was the occasional flailing of the bass player over the spiked and bleached heads of the crowd. Before Black Eyes & Neckties came on, however, we relocated to the second floor, where we could lean over the railing and look down on the band–ultimately, this was a good move, because we didn’t miss a thing.

Now, for those of you who’ve actually been to Bay St. (the coffeehouse formerly known as Stuart’s–*sigh*), you might have difficulty imagining a punk show taking place in any part of the shop, especially one of the caliber that Black Eyes reputedly put on–I definately couldn’t picture it. Even as the band began setting up, I couldn’t picture it. Surely, I thought, they’re not cramming the bass, guitar and keyboard all into one corner, within mere inches of the drum kit?

But they did.

And then they started playing and it was chaos, utter chaos. We were directly above the aforementioned corner, and so we had prime seats to watch the drama unfold as the keyboard took a dive (as did the keyboardist, unbelievably steamy Brenda Grimm) into the audience, after the guitarist crashed into her, once, twice, something like three times, until finally the keyboard stand collapsed and called quits, and Brenda was forced set up her keyboard on an unused bass drum.

Smoke machines, red lights, wailing! The crowd was sweaty and mad, Davey Crypt nearly killed his drums, he was playing so hard, Brenda crawled into the crowd on hands and knees and writhed around on the ground screaming, while Bradley Horror stalked back and forth shrieking into his mic; Ryan Cadaver, Josh Homicide and Benny Bloodbath (guitar, guitar, bass) tumbled and tossed and took flying leaps at the crowd and each other–all within an area the size of, say, a mini-van.

They’re playing the 3B on Monday night (Halloween! Hoorah!), and periodically the three of us would glance at each other, pump our fists and mouth, “3B!” I can’t wait to hear them on a real stage, to see what they do with space.

[ look | listen ]

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