When you schlep all the way to Queens for a four-act show in a hastily converted Chinese restaurant, you know you're going to be in for an interesting night. Enigmatic event organizer Todd P. was in charge of the evening (and ever present packing the attendees into the show while making more announcements during the sets than the guy at Woodstock telling people not "to eat the brown acid"), and while the show faced its fair share of snags, the Real Estate
DIY concert at the K & K Super Buffet in Ridgewood was a resounding success.
The concert's doors were scheduled to open at 9 PM, but it wasn't until nearly ten that Todd P. finally started to herd in the unexpectedly massive line for this show. Packed in like sardines, the line wrapped around the entirety of the impressively large parking lot of this restaurant, and once everyone was shuffled into the venue, there was almost no room to walk around and breathe even before the acts began. The first act of the evening was a DJ duo called Dog Leather. While the crowd wasn't especially feeling their abrasive combination of electronic music and screams (except for one guy who seemed to know every word of their songs and looked just like the nerd from Can't Hardly Wait. I kept expecting him to leap on stage and break into an impromptu performance of "Paradise City"), I was essentially at the front of the crowd and this duo can't be knocked for lack of intensity. With the most baby-faced punker I've ever seen, they threw themselves into the crowd and created a wild mosh pit to get everyone pumped for the main act.
The second act was indie rock band The Babies
(with members from Woods, Vivian Girls, and Bossy) whose combination of psychedelic guitar rock and lite-punk intensity really sold the crowd even when no one seemed to know the words to the songs. Not being able to hear the vocals at all would become a recurring theme of the evening as the mixing was dramatically uneven. Despite being mostly unable to hear what The Babies' lead singer was saying, they had a tight set and were easily the second best act of the night.
The penultimate act for the evening was another electronic act, Black Dice
. A three man group, the crowd seemed to sway in and out of enthusiasm for their loud (to the point of excessive and deafening) electro-metal/rock. For a good 15 minutes of the set though, the crowd was moshing with such intensity that I thought I was going to be trampled to death and I lost count of the number of times I got kicked in the back of the head by people crowd-surfing. However, after that initial enthusiasm died down, Black Dice was never able to regain the crowd's interest and people began to get restless for the main event, Real Estate.
Real Estate didn't take the stage until welll after 1:30 AM. The many bruises my body earned throughout that night (and the many more that would come during Real Estate's set) were well worth it because Real Estate simply brought the house down. Their breezy sunshine pop/rock connected with this passionate crowd, and their performance of "It's Real" drove the crowd wild. They played a healthy assortment of tracks from their last LP Days
as well as some older stuff (to the crowd's delight) and in some free-form jam sessions, they showed some remarkable skills with their axes. The show didn't clear out until nearly 2:30, and while many fans were upset with the shortness of Real Estate's set, no one in the audience felt short-changed by the awesome show they saw that night.