SHOW REVIEW: Holy Shit / Invasion / Pyramid Scheme / The Butts @ The Vault, 5.20.08

Words and photos by Dan Agacki

There was a time last evening that I was afraid this show was doomed. As my cohorts and I prepared to walk to the show, we were informed that there was a car accident right in front of The Vault. Not taking into account how lengthy the legal process can be, we wandered over to the show. After an hour and a half of yucking it up with my chums, the police left the scene of the accident, allowing the show to proceed as planned.

The basement was packed. People were psyched to finally catch a glimpse of The Butts. I, for one, have gotten over-saturated with ultra-fast hardcore in the past year. Catching my ear playin’ that kind of music is almost a complete crapshoot these days. However, The Butts got me. There were a couple rough patches here and there, but overall they sounded a lot better than the typical band’s first set. Plus, they’ve got Adam Smasher on vocals. The guy’s a natural comedian! What can I say? I like The Butts.

It’s hard to say if Pyramid Scheme had a daunting task following The Butts. Sure, they would have to pull off a solid set to stand up to ‘em. But on the other hand, The Butts got the crowd warmed up for a good show. The last time Pyramid Scheme crawled out of Pittsburgh and into our neck of the woods, I missed the show. I’m glad I caught their set, because they’re a solid up-tempo hardcore band, nothing flooring, but solid nonetheless.

All I knew about Invasion was that they are from Spain. Their first song completely underwhelmed me. I stood against the wall, left my camera in its bag. Boring. Second song starts. Bam! Way better. I don’t know if I was hearing things, but it sounded like the vocals had echo on them. It projected a creepy feel throughout. Toward the end of the set they pulled out another slower song. That time it worked out a lot better. It’s a mark of a quality band when they can pull off a slower number at the end of their set. One of my favorite bands of the year so far!

Holy Shit!, favorite band of the year? More like favorite of the decade. Every time they play, I feel lucky to live here. Last night was nothing out of the ordinary. They blasted their off-kilter jazzy hardcore, drinks were spilled, everyone went crazy. Ho-hum? Not a chance. Live, it’s full-on intensity, like a musical nervous breakdown. Yet, there’s room to smile. Juggling the darkness and the lightness, the best of both worlds. Their self-titled debut album is available from Criminal IQ Records.

For more information on any and all of the bands listed and loved above:

The Butts’ –
Pyramid Scheme –
Invasion –
Holy Shit! –
Criminal IQ Records –

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