Indie rockers Parquet Courts took the Grog Shop stage last night looking like members had just left an Urban Outfitters photo shoot, opened with a song about sweeping up dust (literally) and left the stage without playing one of their most popular hits.
This is the sort of odd show fans can expect of Parquet Courts, a post-punk quartet from Brooklyn, N.Y., which has risen through the indie rock ranks since breaking into the scene with 2012’s Light Up Gold.
Since Light Up Gold, the band has released four other full-length albums, including a joint project with Italian composer Daniele Lupi and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs that dropped this year.
The dynamic interplay between A. Savage and Austin Brown, who both sing and play guitar in the band, and bassist Sean Yeaton drove the group’s frenetic, though controlled, play. That the band could so closely toe the line between collectively playing intricate riffs just as tightly as they do on record, while breaking up that tidiness by taking turns to throw their sound into new, wild territory, spoke to what has made them one of the more interesting rock bands in the last decade.
That skill was on full display throughout the night as the band’s jamming stole the show. Concertgoers without a clear view of the stage probably lost sight of A. Savage during “One Man No City” after the front man dropped to a squat to test how he could use feedback from the amps around him to prolong an extended solo.
The band followed it up with “Content Nausea,” whose monologue breakdown took a more frantic pace than fans are used to hearing from its recording. Although a few moments of calm were sprinkled throughout the set, the show mostly showcased the upbeat style that has come to define the band’s sound throughout its seven-year history.
The timing of the night’s performances was thrown off by the absence of opener the Cowboy, about which there was no mention other than the band’s name crossed out of the lineup at the door.
Although that meant anyone who arrived early to see local hip-hop/punk duo Obnox was left to wait over a half hour between sets, it didn’t seem to dampen the mood among the sold-out show’s mostly Millennial crowd. Banter from A. Savage and Brown kept fans engaged, even after Savage dissed somebody who asked for him to stop playing to come down and take a picture just after the band took the stage.
The biggest diss of the night might have been the band’s decision to skip performing “Stoned and Starving,” one of the earliest songs to garner the band major attention. It would have been nice to hear the crowd-pleaser in a non-existent encore to the hour-and-fifteen minute set, which closed with “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth.” Those who came out for the show had plenty of reason to be satisfied, anyway.