LIVE REVIEW: Weekend + Cities Aviv @ Harlow’s, Sacramento 3/23/14
Sunday night shows in Sacramento can be rough especially when they’ve been preceded by a packed house to a hometown crowd the night before. Regardless, San Francisco natives Weekend and supporting act trip-hopper Cities Aviv did their best to show their appreciation to the folks that came out to support them at the close of the first weekend of spring.
After a chatter inspiring performance at this year’s Noise Pop Festival, we eagerly anticipated catching Gavin Mays better known as Cities Aviv touring in support of his third album release Come to Life. Mays nonchalantly stepped out onto the stage to cue up his intricately produced noisy instrumentals on his laptop computer and almost immediately their abrasive aesthetic captured your immediate attention. Though difficult to associate because of his truly unique form of artistry, Cities Aviv can perhaps be best associated with the likes of Death Grips, HEALTH, and Marijuana Deathsquads.
Because Cities Aviv is best consumed loud at an eleven, his requests for the sound to be turned up was met with stubborn opposition by the sound engineers, which unfortunately and frustratingly caused his set to be cut short at just three songs. Gavin Mays’ hardcore background was apparent from what we observed during his abbreviated performance but his knack for writing rather cerebral oriented lyrics created a feeling of ordered chaos that felt really…right.
It’s not easy being a band called “Weekend” – you are often easily confused with other bands that have some varied iteration of your name. As the Brooklyn by-way-of San Francisco Weekend took the stage, bassist and front man Shaun Durkan joked to the room, “if you think we are The Weeknd, you should probably clear the room now.” And sure enough, a few people actually got up and walked out of the venue. Touring for the better part of the spring, Weekend had their short set honed in and immediately dove into “Age Class” off their critically acclaimed 2010 release of Sports.
The rapport and friendship between Durkan, guitarist Kevin Johnson, and drummer Abe Pedroza was apparent from their on-stage movements and ability to communicate without ever verbally communicating to each other. Durkan had an endearing quiet charisma as he quickly chatted and joked about doing a Deftones cover in between songs which helped to further personalize their intimate performance to a devoted group of supporters. Durkan and Johnson transformed rhythm and melody throughout Weekend’s set as Durkan’s melodic bass lines hovered over Johnson’s more rhythmic guitars (“End Times”).
Yes, most of Durkan’s vocals were unintelligible due the massive amount of distortion, but what resulted was an echo chamber full of balled up emotions that touched the center of your core more than crisply delivered vocals ever could. Catch Weekend in a city near you before they close out their US tour in early April.
Check out more of Weekend from this weekend at Harlow’s HERE.