Communal Sweat: Los Campesinos! at Brillobox (with awesome low quality pics!)

The Brillobox would have to be one of the more "intimate" venues in Pittsburgh. A venue that small is both a blessing and a curse. You can practically touch the musicians on stage, although that means you're touching everyone else around you. And, since the venue is up a flight of stairs, whenever the audience started dancing/moving/what have you, it felt like the floor was going to give out. I guess dying at a Los Campesinos! show isn't a bad way to end it, right? Oh, and Brillobox? Maybe having a fan or two wouldn't be a bad investment?

We sweated. A lot. So much sweating we did. There came a point where my anxiety over people smelling my sweat went away, since the entire audience's perspiration enveloped us all in a kind of communal funk. 

The opening act, Yellow Ostrich, put on an energetic show. They sounded a bit like those Postal Service-esque bands that are everywhere nowadays. But the lead singer had a great voice, which sounded oddly like Bjork at times. I think they are worth a listen. Check them out!

Los Campesinos! took the stage soon after, and I have to say they put on a fantastic show. My only gripe was the sound system, which kind of muddled the vocals. At the same time, it felt like a gritty punk show in that regard. You know what else made it feel like a punk show? Moshers.

Moshers, you say? But isn't Los Campesinos! an odd band to mosh to?

You would be partly correct. While their music doesn't lend itself to moshing, per se, it is energetic and aggressive in a twee sort of way. But when they'd play some of their early stuff, these five or so guys would take it upon themselves to start a mosh pit. Another reason it struck me as odd (and infinitely annoying) was that this show was populated by hipsters. In what strange world do hipsters mosh? Is it because moshing is now passe?

Here are a few tips I've learned over the years about moshing at shows. If no one else is moshing, then maybe don't. And if--for whatever bizarre reason--you do mosh at these shows, don't mosh into ladies who really don't want you pushing into them as a feeble attempt to cop a feel. I apologize if I sound like a jaded old man, but come on, you dudes didn't even mosh to their new songs! Mosh all the way or don't mosh at all.

So, the show itself. The band was great. Gareth (the adorable lead singer), despite having been drunk all day, gave his best, as did the entire group. He teased the audience about our "civic pride" whenever we'd cheer when he'd say "Pittsburgh." And he jumped (okay, stepped) off the stage into the audience at one point. About an hour into the set, everyone was feeling sweaty and tired and gross and a little sexy despite it all. They did an encore, but I think the whole of Brillobox was ready to get out of there and wring the sweat from their clothes.

But wait! We hung out after the show, and got to chat with Gareth and Robert (my eternal crush of the moment). They were both charming, if not a tad exhausted, and we got us some pics, which is almost as good as making out with them (but not really)!

True story: I told Robert he was beautiful.

If Gareth looks a little hung over, it's because he was. Poor guy :(

Truth be told, concert reviews aren't my forte. But I felt the desire to since it was such a fantastic time, hipser moshers notwithstanding. Oh, and if you want to check the Los Campesinos! out, which you really really should, you can find their website here and like them on the faceybook.


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