Titus Andronicus at Trunk Space Last Night

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Titus Andronicus

September 3, 2010
Trunk Space

Last night was a perfect storm, of sorts, for an incredible show in downtown PHX. For starters, it was a First Friday, meaning tons of people would be milling around the downtown area for the bevy of displays and accompanying sights. Secondly, blogosphere idols Candy Claws and Magic Kids were last night's support, creating a solid opening bill for an already impressive headliner. And finally, New Jersey torch bearers Titus Andronicus sold out the already rather cozy, if you will, Trunk Space -- a venue that is perhaps 1/2 to 1/3 the size that the band can fill in their sleep.

So take those three ingredients and add a healthy dose of 100+ summer heat and the results were sweaty, for lack of a better term.

But fuck that, however, because sweat is what got Titus Andronicus to where they are today. Two albums into their yeoman-like career, Titus Andronicus has established a rather impressive following, garnering heavy critical praise for their grandiose, overblown take on indie rock.

And what comes forth on the band's latest album, The Monitor, is manifested tenfold live. Kicking things off at 11:45 pm with "A More Perfect Union" -- which was the most sublime way to get things going, if you ask me -- Titus Andronicus quickly established their pace and presence, ripping through the song's first chorus to get to the amazingly satisfying line, belted by lead singer Patrick Stickles, "I never wanted to change the world / But I'm looking for a new New Jersey / 'Cause tramps like us / Baby we were born to diiiie." Springsteen he ain't, and Stickles knows this -- but he, and the rest of the crowd, can take umbrage in that nod to Stickles' fellow Garden statesman.

So it went, for the rest of the night -- the band quickly disposed of "A More Perfect Union" for "Titus Andronicus Forever, " screaming, with an all-too-real relish, "The enemy is everywhere," perhaps a too astute observation given Arizona's recent political adventures, if you will. However, the focus was not on politics, thank god, and if that were the case, Stickles & co. would have preferred you read between the lines for that. The rollicking, catchy-chorused "Richard II" and the stoutly declarative "No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future" highlighted a set that decidedly Monitor-heavy.

It was hot last night, there's no denying that. However, a band that is worth the wait and worth the heat has a way of making you ignore all the atmospheric issues that force the sweat to bead down your face. I can attest that once Titus Andronicus took to the stage and started playing, the heat took a backseat for a brief moment -- and that may have been the the most perfect moment from last night.

Critic's Bias: I am a fan of Titus Andronicus, no doubt about it. I turned all my friends who didn't know about the band onto them, yet this was my first chance to finally see them live, and I jumped at it -- even though I didn't realize that: a) the show was on a First Friday, b) in early September in PHX and c) at a venue pretty much devoid of any air conditioning.

The Crowd: A pretty clearcut 18-34 demographic, that crucial age group that major television networks lust over.

Overheard In The Crowd: "There's no easy way of saying this, but it's pretty fucking hot in here."

Random Notebook Dump: "Life is good, let's enjoy it." "Dedicating a song to a dude in front who's been singing the whole time." "I now see where Trunk Space gets their name from."

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.