Saturday Night: By The End Of Tonight Reunion At Fitzgerald's
By the end of the show on Saturday night, there was no longer any potential energy left in Fitzgerald's upstairs room; it had been entirely converted into kinetic form throughout the evening. A reunited By The End Of Tonight melted the faces of the frenzied crowd, and for a few hours everyone there was 18 again - no cares, just losing themselves in the frenetic yet structured cacophony brought by the music.
Aftermath walked out with a broad smile, a sore neck, and ringing ears - a perfect snapshot of every show we attended whilst in our high-school days. We were far from alone, too. We saw many a high-five traded on the floor, and more grinning teeth than a dental journal.
That's what happens when a beloved local band plays its first show in three years.
The night kicked off with Caddywhompus, the crazed two-piece experimental pop-rock duo originally from Houston but currently calling New Orleans home. The pair whipped out a quick five-song set, bringing their chaotic jams - full of polyrhythms and pep - much to the delight of the crowd. Even guitarist Chris Rehm's finger-tapping segments are rife with pop tones; the music seems to create happiness out of the ether.
The crowd was already moving, with several people all-out dancing, if not merely bopping in place, and Aftermath's mind began to speculate just what sort of explosion would occur during B L A C K I E's upcoming set.
However, with Caddywhompus breaking down gear, more than just Mike LaCour's infamous homemade speaker system came on stage, and a cluster of instruments popped up on stage right. Three kids began an improvisational noise set, which we originally mistook as potential backing band for the dynamic grime rapper from Chemical City. LaCour hovered in the wings, and as everyone focused in awe on the trio, we kept waiting for him to rush the microphone, swooping down to start his sampler, and bursting into his set.
That didn't happen. What we did get, however, was a really fun improv number from Art Füx, whose drummer happens to be LaCour's roommate. Live drums and the squeals of electronic tweaks unfolded, transporting the listener into an alternate dimension.
When B L A C K I E finally did take the stage, it was with a calm approach, but that never lasts long. Taking the microphone and as much cable as he could, LaCour hopped offstage onto the floor, started his sampler, and immediately was everywhere. Stretching the cord to its limits, he took over the room with opening number "Stay Up," before collapsing back to start the next song.
B L A C K I E
At this point, the house asked Mike to stay on stage, so he invited the crowd to join him, but requesting that they "be real fuckin' careful." Anyone who's seen B L A C K I E perform knows that he's a whirlwind, and that didn't change much, even stage-bound with a crew of white kids cluelessly bopping along behind him.
He tore through five more numbers before ending his appearance. We're not certain if his time ran out, or he cut it short when the kids were kicked offstage following "Window."