NXNE Review: Guerilla Toss, Many Arms, June 18, The Great Hall

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Wednesday night’s showcase at The Great Hall featured a good deal of band/audience interaction with the boundaries between the performers onstage and those offstage being blurred … in both good and bad ways.

First, the good: Boston noise punk outfit Guerilla Toss decided early on in their set to invite members of the audience to come dance on stage for a few songs, complete with an attempt to get them all doing some synchronized dance moves. Following that, bassist Simon Hanes instructed those who were on stage to form a circle around the rest of the crowd and dance in a counter-clockwise direction around them. Standing in the midst of all of that, it did feel a bit awkward, but in a good way, I guess. The band put on an enjoyable performance driven by super distorted bass and drums and vocalist Kassie Carlson’s high pitched yelp.

Following Guerilla Toss was Many Arms. As the band took to the stage, the guitarist said, “Yo, we’re Many Arms. Get cosmic.” And get cosmic they did. Though saxophonist Colin Fisher asked at the outset if they were playing a “rock set,” it was more of a freak out noise jazz set. though it did definitely rock. A little too much for some. During their all too brief set, the second instance of those not on stage interacting with the band came in the form of the sound guy actually walking onto the stage and turning down an amplifier. This was definitely the first time I’d seen anything like this and likely a first for the band too. They shut it down after only about 15 minutes and quickly left the stage. Too bad, especially considering this was their only set of the festival. Still, at least both sides of the confrontation will have a good story to tell down the line.

Posted on by Paul in North By Northeast