Last Thursday’s show at the Bootleg slowly crescendoed into an explosion. The first of the three acts was L.A. based and Non Plus Ultra mainstays Clear Capsule, whose debut EP Windowless Spaces came out early last year.
After their set, Kentucky-based country punks State Champion performed pickings from their December release Send Flowers — incorporating a healthy dose of southern drawl to the Los Angelenos’ Thursday night. Their style is urgent yet sprawling, twangy yet punk, and somehow provincial yet overwhelmingly massive.
As the night progressed, Pile’s high-voltage set kicked into high gear and beat through the ears of their fiercely loyal fans. Maguire’s haggard bellows richoted through the band’s ear-splitting riffs– riffs that never landed long enough to let the audience sink into them. Just how they liked it.
As the mosh pit grew with unrest, Maguire quietly interjected with a plead to respect their neighbors. Without giving up their outlet of energy release, the most rambunctious of the crowd resorted to jumping straight up into the air instead shoving whoever stood in their periphery.
With selections from their latest record Green and Gray, the set burgeoned until it reached it’s summit with “Hiding Places” — leaving everyone raw and reeling from Maguire’s pure emotion on stage. The song started in a rapt moment and was soon met with hard-hitting distortion and a trance-like riff that bludgeons the ear just the lyrical sword strikes. Definitely one for the books.
Words: Elizabeth Hsieh
Photos: Megan Hullander