Boy Sets Fire @ Club Laga: 01.23.02

--Krusty

In contrast to a lot of recent live shows in Pittsburgh, Boy Sets Fire drew an amazing crowd: men and women in Mohawks, long hair, covered comprehensively in piercings and tattoos, all moshed, pogoed, slammed, smashed, and twirled into one another, stopping only occasionally on the off-chance someone had lost their balance and fallen or been knocked over. It's not often that people introduce themselves at shows, offer to exchange photos, talk about their hometowns in between bands, etc.

The intelligence, demeanor, and social awareness of the fans reflects Boy Sets Fire's ethics and aesthetics. Their lyrics offer potent political critiques and imperatives, and they're belted out with power and speed by polite, smiling, clean-cut and tattooed little men who pause only to briefly encourage critical thought and to compliment their fans. The performance at Laga sustained an energy that far exceeded that conveyed on their albums, while still maintaining the precision and crispness of their recordings.

Openers River City High warmed up the night with a brand of pop-punk meets countrified-rock that seemed like a Social Distortion - Blink 182 hybrid. They performed with enthusiasm, part of their clear eagerness to be stars. They signed autographs, threw t-shirts and CDs from the stage the way we've come to expect only the biggest stars to do. It was behavior that was radically contrary to the punk rock ethic they rely on, and which Boy Sets Fire fulfills and refreshes. The youngest among the audience received River City High with enthusiastic zeal.


 

 

P.O. Box 266
Bethany, WV 26032