I’ll wear it as a badge of honor that I survived the two Palma Violets shows I’ve seen. This is not because the band is bad – far from it – but because the audience up in front mosh hard. Really hard, as in taking over half the venue and letting loose with aggressive body slams. If you want to experience the band in a gentler section, stay at the back. But the band wants you to mosh. That is clear based on how bassist Chilli Jesson eggs on the crowd, nearly starting fights with audience members.
In my first review of a Palma Violets show I called them high art, and I’ll say it again: this is high art. This is music of strength and power. I’m eager to see this band’s evolution on subsequent albums, as 180 called out to the world with vicious beauty. A Palma Violets performance hurtles the blues all in your senses and messes you up, one part of your mind at a time. You’ll dig it.
Skaters, a New-York trio, opened the evening. They have an edginess to them I really like, and intense lead singer/front man Michael Ian Cummings accesses an audience with focus and determination. Their great set gave us a chance to hear what will be on their debut, Manhattan, which comes out in February 2014. I’m looking forward to that album!