Slam-dancing in the basement with Titus Andronicus (photos, recap, setlist) - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Jersey punks Titus Andronicus like to think big: sweeping string sections, heady lyrical references, seven-minute songs. And they pull it off, too – see The Monitor, or this year’s excellent Local Business. But they connect the strongest when they’re out there in the trenches, playing the basements of the world with a sea of fans screaming along to every song. Such was the case last night in the basement of the First Unitarian Church, where the band slammed its way across an hour and 45 minute set (again, not thinking small).

The new material translated tremendously, from the propulsive opener “Ecce Homo” to the shoutalong anthem “In A Big City.” The crowd dug it, but with the album only having been out in the world officially only briefly (released on Monday, streaming on NPR Music a couple weeks before that), the songs that captured their energy the most were the more familiar selections – it was hard not to find somebody singing along, sweating or smiling during “A More Perfect Union” from The Monitor, the tremendous segue of “No Future 1” and “No Future Part 3: Escape From No Future” or the epic finale “The Battle of Hampton Road.”

It was big and bold – three guitars and a powerhouse rhythm section’ll do that – but the band was also loose and casual, goofing on local pop-rock faves Free Energy with the parody song “On a Date Tonight” (lyrics: “I’m on a date tonight, yeah, I’m on a date tonight”). After the break-free set wrapped up, singer-guitarist Patrick Stickles stuck around to chat with the fans converged at the foot of the stage, sign merch, reminisce about gigs past and share hugs. Total man of the people.

Ecce Homo
Still Life With Hot Deuce on Silver Platter
Upon Viewing Brughel’s “Landscape With The Fall of Icarus”
Arms Against Atrophy
Richard II
Four Score and Seven
Titus Andronicus vs. The Absurd Universe (3rd Round KO)
On A Date Tonight
In A Big City
Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With The Flood Of Detritus
No Future 1
No Future Part 3: Escape From No Future
A More Perfect Union
Titus Andronicus Forever
Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ
The Battle of Hampton Road

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