If you had a chance to go to Slim’s in San Francisco Saturday, odds are you didn’t have much of a voice the next morning.
Supported by a bill of vigorous acts at a breakneck pace, Basement headlined a night of hardcore and post-hardcore standard bands. American bands Defeater and Turnstile, both using scream-rapped lyrics layered over distorted guitar chords and frantic, crisp metal drumming, both played impressively lively sets. Turnstile in particular put on quite a show, which at several points during the ~20 minute set became an all-inclusive mosh party.
Flipping stage-dives and heavy moshing made for a fitting precursor, to our surprise, to the British post-hardcore sensation Basement, which garnered widespread attention after its second album Colourmeinkindness (2012, Run For Cover Records), which built on their first work I Wish I Could Stay Here (2011). Their new album Promise Everything, released in January, has proliferated Basement’s following; in a way it is more accessible to the masses, but it’s still satisfactory for their dedicated fans.
Basement’s set Saturday responded very well to this balance. Many if not all of their ballads were so loudly sung by the audience that the band could not help but smile to themselves (at one point lead singer Andrew Fisher mentioned in between songs “you guys are so loud, this is great”). Their pace, moving through many numbers of Promise Everything, but also delivering great songs from Colourmeinkindness, was nearly impeccable. Although new listeners may be inclined to argue that Basement’s sound doesn’t have much variety (which certainly was noticeable Saturday), the overall performance quality more than made up for it. These were seasoned musicians fueled by a wild, hungry, euphoric crowd.
We’ll certainly be back for Basement next time they come around.
Article and images by Darius Kay