While Sunday night rock shows can sometimes be a bummer, the atmosphere at The Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA on April 18th was one of anticipation. Before the first of the night’s 3 bands had taken the stage, fans were already claiming their spots up front to assure a good view of headliners The Thermals.
Each member of Atlanta, Georgia’s The Coathangers sported a fake mustache as they kicked off their set with “Haterade” from their 2007 self-titled debut. The first few songs were a little rough but, luckily, the band’s catchy, in-your-face indie punk was in full-swing by the third song. They powered their way through “Killdozer” and “Gettin’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron” from 2009′s Scramble and even sped up a version of their mid-tempo ballad “Dreamboat” so that it sounded like a 1960s girl-group tune on steroids. Since this was my second time seeing The Coathangers (and my second time reviewing them for this blog), I was eagerly anticipating the intensity that The Coathangers’ live show delivers. The band did not disappoint: They threw all of their energy into every song, so much so that when guitarist Julia Kugel took her turn behind the drum kit, she hit a cymbal so hard that it fell off it’s stand. She collected the cymbal from her lap with one hand and tossed it out of the way, literally, without missing a single beat. The Thermals bassist Kathy Foster, mustached of course, joined the band onstage for their last song, fan favorite “Don’t Touch My Shit.” Continue Reading Punk On The Rocks: The Thermals, Past Lives &The Coathangers Rock The Middle East