Titus Andronicus, The So So Glos and Finderskeepers tore up Mavericks May 1st


On May 1st, Titus Andronicus put on one of the best shows I have ever seen in all my years of going to concerts in Ottawa.

After performing their pre-show group stretching at the side of the stage Titus Andronicus delivered an incredible set to a packed Mavericks. The crowd was crazy and so in to it; singing, moshing, cheering, clapping, dancing, and the first song, ‘‘A pot in which to Piss,’’ was not even done yet. The show started Wednesday roared into Thursday as Titus could not be stopped. Big thanks to Scallen and the Mavericks staff for letting them play.

The show culminated with an epic rendition ‘‘Four Score and Seven’’ where they would transition into ‘‘To old friends and new,’’ ‘‘…And Ever,’’ ‘‘Titus Andornicus forever’’ (to sing their line ‘‘the enemy is everywhere’’ which is in all those songs) and then back. Then they played a crowd favourite ‘‘A More Perfect Union.’’ Afterwards lead singer, Patrick Stickles, called The So So Glos’ guitarist Matt Elkin on stage. Patrick told a sob story about how hard touring could be sometimes with all the malnutrition, sleep deprivation and too much partying, but they would not live another way, because…and they launched into the Joan Jet classic, ‘‘I love rock n roll.’’

This was only the beginning of the madness that was May 1st! The rest of The So So Glos joined the band on stage and they played ‘‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn,’’ where their drummer, guitarist and lead singer rapped as the Beastie Boys.  If that was not enough, they played ‘‘Roots radicals’’ by Rancid and Billy Bragg’s working class anthem ‘‘To have and to have not’’ to close out the show.

Earlier in the set Patrick said it was time to get back to our punk roots, he put down his guitar and they played ‘‘Go insane.’’ After that he said ‘‘Back in the old days you didn’t see someone playing guitar and singing.’’ He mentioned you never saw Joey Ramone playing, Joe Strummer held a guitar real nice more than played, Johnny Rotten never shredded and Ian MacKaye did not pick up a guitar until Fugazi and that was much later. ‘‘I don’t want to play a fucking guitar,’’ and the band raged through the song ‘‘Titus Andronicus.’’

Before Titus was The So So Glow. One week removed from playing on Letterman, the four piece from Brooklyn (plus Adam Reacher of Titus) filled the stage for an energetic set. Unfortunately some dipshits in the crowd decided to start heckling the band as they told their story of their car trouble to explain why they were going to play a shorter set and had no set list. Not the way to treat a band playing the city for the first time. The band persevered through that and opened up with ‘‘Son of an American.’’  They challenged the crowd to get dancing and when the band delivered ‘‘Wrecking Ball’’ the pit finally opened up. They finished the set with my favourite song of theirs, ‘‘Island Loops.’’

Opening this great night was Ottawa’s Finderskeepers. This local threesome rewarded the thirty or so people smart enough to show up early. Their great energy and awesome garage punk sound coupled with vocals that remind me of Andrew Jackson Jihad made for a great tone setter. My favourite song from their set was ‘‘Lowlifes (and The Dearly Departed).’’  They also played a pretty sweet cover of ‘‘Under Your Influence’’ by Dag Nasty.