NOISE POP 2013: Ceremony @ Rickshaw Stop, SF 2/27/13
Ceremony is back. After disappearing for a few months following 2012’s international tour, the Bay Area locals finally re-emerged home-side to serve up some more of that dark energy San Francisco loves.
And, San Francisco’s generally-rowdy Rickshaw Stop was the perfect rabbit hole for it. Leading with heavy openers like Terry Malts and Synthetic ID, it was apparent that the main event’s upcoming set wouldn’t just be a Zoo listening party.Synthetic ID
Ceremony opened with “Hysteria”—a single from 2012’s Zoo best described by Stereogum as “a motherfucking monster.” Three seconds into the opener, an enthusiastic fan took a dive into the crowd from the large speaker next to the stage. Vocalist Ross Farrar screamed into the mic, and the audience warped into the classic punk maelstrom of violent swaying and self-projectiled bodies leaping off the stage.
By the time Ceremony got to “Repeating the Circle” under a harrowing red stage light, the audience had calmed to a sway, just as guitarist Anthony Anzaldo seemed to briskly finger the theme to Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
The relative placidity was short-lived—at the start of the next song, about 25 audience members’ rushed the stage, tackling Farrar (who still managed to carry the song). Even then, Farrar continued to share the stage with some of his biggest local fans.
A few minutes later, after the bouncer cleared everyone, Farrar proclaimed, “We need energy,” and furiously charged into a roaring sonic riot. Screaming out, “Kurt lives! Kurt lives!” the audience again charged the stage and Farrar was swarmed and consumed by the frantic mass.
Ceremony’s set ended um, unceremoniously, shortly after an audience member launched an empty beer bottle toward bassist Justin Davis’ head — all around dick move — for no apparent reason, but that speaks more to the audience than the music. Ceremony played the quintessential punk show—they were rabid, excitable, and abrasive—to a clusterfuck below the stage.
In any case, Ceremony played hardcore Ceremony—the rockers paid homage to their heavier roots but still appeased newer fans with choice cuts from Zoo.On point and fueled by clouds of fire, Ceremony was as frenzied as they’ve always been—just how we love them.
Check all the incredible photos HERE.