Photos and words by Charles Nickles
It’s late and I’m not drunk, but I am battered as fuck from starting the night working late on my twelfth day straight and then shredding with Crom (almost breaking my camera AND my wrist) and then Antwon played for a minute or twenty, I think and I’m far from home and my knees are shaking and Joseph’s eyes are glazed (because he’s on day umpteenth) and all I can keep telling us is, “WE ARE FULLY FUCKING LIVING IN NEW YORK FUCKING CITY RIGHT NOW!” because where else but SXSW can you slip, sweaty from some all-ages Zerosum parade to…
I don’t tend to care for “musician” bands, because I lost my yen for basic math back in the days of Topamax, and even if I hadn’t I would still prefer the vulgar axioms of arrested, reckless RAWK over polyrhythmic trysts – because practice may make perfect, but perfect isn’t shit. That being said, Husbandry is a pretty damn decent midnight excursion. Despite the trappings of their Berklee influence, they delivered a bash of post-hardcore standards under the auspice of one seriously fucking spit-fired siren.
I liked Crushed. They were plenty fine hardcore even if that one guitar player wore his Les Paul like a goon and the bassist’s clashing plaids offered a little too much insight into the inevitability of my lost weekend, but Joseph hated them. Totally took off despite the roar and thud and wheedle that should’ve had us butting heads in shamelessly boyish display of beer-pegged ebullience to smoke cigarettes in the pouring rain. When asked why, post set, he replied simply “Fit Bits and loafers, man.”
Planes Mistaken for Stars
I first really learned about Planes Mistaken for Stars when I was finally coming to terms with the fact that, at a certain age, a body has to choose between the simple pleasures of a protracted adolescence and the positively terrifying weight of manhood.
I’d like to think (for the most part) I chose the latter, and I’d like to think (for the most part) Planes did too and, since the first time I saw them (their “last” show at the Mercury Lounge) I’ve felt fiercely protective of them. Like we were friends or comrades, or maybe they were the goddamn sages that would guide me through the minefield of masculinity as I settled into my bones for a greater good or, you know, without fucking up my life irrevocably.
And I know that sounds dramatic, and it is, but so is their sound, and that heaviness has only compounded since they drifted away from their Midwestern emotive upbringing into a half-metal, off-hardcore Damaged II juggernaut – and tonight they weren’t the best I’ve ever seen them, but hot damn.
The crowd that could still stand (and that one kid who couldn’t but FUCK THE WORLD! he was gonna stage dive to his favorite track) were thoroughly stoked on every note. They dipped deep into their cannon (“Belly Full of Hell” being choice) and played their asses off, but I’m sad to say they didn’t scorch they rapture quite like I needed.
Sure, they burned off some of that itch for desperation rock n’ roll revelry, but they didn’t play “Thunder in the Night Forever (We Ride to Fight!)” or “One Fucked Pony” or “Keep Your Teeth,” any one of which would’ve been a sartorial balm, but what they lacked in my selfish need for bombast, they made up for in stamina and an earnest plea.
“Just be nice to each other, okay? Be nice. Nice. People deserve kindness.”