Saturday, February 12, 2005

World/Inferno Friendship Society and Murder By Death - - Villanova, Pennsylvania

It's not everyday that I get into a car to drive for over two hours and cross as many state lines for a five dollar show at a college for one band I've never heard of and another band I've listened to once. This time though, it paid off.

First off, getting to Villanova was a total bitch- there was a traffic jam as soon as we hit Pennsylvania, caused by a fender bender many miles inside Pennsylvania. We finally saw it after a little over a half hour of stop and go traffic. We thought we were gonna be late, but when we showed up they were still setting up, and it looked like no one had played. After being approached by a transplanted Villanovy-ite who recognized my friend's Chick and Ruth shirt, we were basically ready for the show, dreading the three or so bands before Murder By Death.

Oops, we read that wrong. Turns out all those names were for the opening act, World/Inferno Friendship Society. When the entire eight piece band was on stage, the first thing that came to mind was a goth Reverend Horton Heat. As soon as they started playing, moshing erupted. Those crazy Villanovy-ites were moshing, mimicking the singer, and tossing confetti in the air at key moments- as we later found out, most people were there to see World/Inferno and not Murder By Death. The thing about World/Inferno is that it's hard to describe their sound. It's easy to write them off as a ska band, because they are, but the overall effect of the suits, the hot percussionist, the accordian is really more like punk mixed with New Orleans funeral march. Well, all of them were wearing suits except the guitarist, who looked like a much taller, much more bored Slash. Indeed, it did not look like he was having much fun. The rest of the band was hardcore into it, from shoutbacks to dancing, to just generally looking not bored. The singer was fairly amusing in between songs, sometimes telling funny anecdotes. They were a tight act, just blazing through their set and they are reccomended to be checked out.

And then it was the damndest thing I saw. They got called on to play an encore. The opening band did an encore, and it didn't seem entirely like the standard encore! That's just weird. And cool.

Murder By Death's set was way cool, though they didn't have somebody playing keys, which is a big part of their sound. And also slightly confusing, since they soundchecked the keyboard. They played mainly from their last album, but they also lifted material from that one album they released as Little Jou Gould. And they brought out a new song, loosely based on pirates, which was pretty cool. Then they debuted a song from their forthcoming album, about the fourth circle of Hell. It was quite kickass. The frontman had some nice back and forth with the audience, especially when he asked for a Bic lighter to use as a slide, and seemed oblivious to how he was almost beamed with one. Though dissapointing because the crowd wasn't nearly as into Murder by Death as World/Inferno, and the lack of keys, the set was still really good, and Murder By Death is very much reccomended.

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