Parquet Courts at Whelan’s, Dublin on Monday 14th of October 2013
Parquets Courts have had whirlwind 2013. A year ago they were hardly known outside Brooklyn but since have had their first full length album ‘Light Up Gold’ picked up by What’s Your Rupture? Records. They have also come over to Europe to do a few festivals and, judging by Monday night, have developed a fervent support in this part of the world.
Long before they reach the stage though, there is a crowd already built to see a couple of impressive young Dublin bands. Otherkin are first on and instantly get the crowd nodding appreciatively with their big hooks and hard edges. They are a young band with big rock aspirations and, on the basis of this short set, have the potential to fulfil it.
The #1s follow as a slice of happy, upbeat pop punk. Made up of veterans of the Dublin rock scene, the bands know which nods and winks to make to the crowd and are composed enough not to be put off by a blown amp half way through their set. Full of major chords and harmonies, they’re a band that it’s just fun to be in the presence of.
Parquet Courts take to the Whelan’s stage to massive applause. Members of the packed crowd chant their names and bow to them, even before they’ve played a note in anger. And when they do play the notes, they are in anger. It’s short, sharp-shock punk-rock for most of the hour set.
The energy that meets opener Bodies Made Of shows that the crowd’s adoration is not just misty-eyed hype. The venue is instantly hopping and moshing along to the music. Even if it’s new music – not on their ‘Light Up Gold’ album – the crowd don’t care. You’ve Got Me Wonderin Now is another instant example of that. And, in finest punk style, it’s a series of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blasts of energy.
Stephen Mangan look-alike Andrew Savage is the lead singer, but it’s bassist Sean Yeaton who gets the love off the crowd. “Because of his beard!” shouts a member of the audience when asked by the band.
“My grandmother is from Cork,” Yeaton ventures sheepishly to his fans. “She’s dead but she was cool when she was alive.” Predictably, this gets a massive response from the crowd.
The band slow it down on a couple of occasions – once for the comparatively epic She’s Rolling and again when Savage breaks a string – but the tempo is never far from coming back. The double hit of Mastered My Craft and Borrowed Time set Whelan’s into overdrive and a couple of people (unsuccessfully) attempt to stage dive.
Amid all the energy and enthusiasm radiating from the stage, there is no lack of craft. Parquet Courts combine nervous excitement with an ear for a tune; something as audible on stage as it is on CD.
It’s the night’s closer Stoned and Starving that is the high point of the evening. The centre of the venue becomes a melee of sweaty, moshing bodies. Lyrics are chanted back and heads are rocked to Television-ish guitar. It all culminates in guitarist Austin Brown crowd surfing from the stage to the merch stand to close the evening.
The band had complained of tiredness early in the show, but an hour of Parquet Courts is a perfect, most entertaining antidote to sleep.
Parquet Courts Photo Gallery
Photos: Dave Kelly