These Arms Are Snakes 10/20 at Beat Kitchen

Friday night I went over to the Beat Kitchen to see These Arms Are Snakes play. It had been about a year and a half since I last saw them play and I missed the last two times they came to town due to the shows either being sold out, or my inability to score a spot on the guest list. I felt bad for missing those shows because the band is always amazing live and are one of my most favorite current bands.

Young Widows
Young Widows

Young Widows
Young Widows

I was still wiped out from seeing Naked Raygun the previous night and waking up for work early so I opted to come to the show late since there was four bands playing. When I arrived, I caught the tail end of Young Widows, who were the first band on the bill. Upon hearing the one and a half songs I got to see, I kind of regretted not showing up earlier. They were pretty heavy and what I heard was really interesting. They also played in near darkness with bright white lights coming out from some rigs in their amps behind them.

River City Tan Lines
River City Tan Lines

River City Tan Lines
River City Tan Lines

River City Tan Lines
River City Tan Lines

Next up were River City Tan Lines. They were a three piece from somewhere down south (maybe TN?, I forget where they said they were from) featuring a female guitar player and dueling male/female vocals. They were sort of a dirty rock band that weren’t bad until they played an Alley Cats cover. I was probably the only other person in the club outside the band who caught it. Since that breaks my golden rule, I was instantly down on them from that point forward and put my camera away.

Mouth of the Architect
Mouth of the Architect

Mouth of the Architect
Mouth of the Architect

Mouth of the Architect
Mouth of the Architect

Mouth of the Architect were up next. With a name like that I half expected some emo band but man I couldn’t have been more wrong! They sounded like a cross of Neurosis (before they mellowed to the point of sedation), Isis, and Pelican. Their songs were long and heavy and would build upon a groove that would eventually explode into some heavy screamed growling vocals. I haven’t used this term in many years but I’m telling you, they were so powerful they damn near made me soil my pants involuntarily! They damn near stole the show and on top of buying their CD (which is excellent!), I have now them added to my “must-see” list of bands!

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

After a short break for equipment setup, These Arms Are Snakes took the stage. I have seen them four or five times before since they first started and they always were super energetic and played their asses off with an added intensity not captured on their records. Well this time out, they took that formula and cranked up the intensity another 200 percent! No one in the band held still for a minute, they were all over the place on stage playing their songs with such ferocity that the crowd couldn’t help but go nuts. By the third song, every member of the band e\was drenched in sweat and they showed no sign of letting up, and didn’t in the near hour-long set they performed. They played a good mix of songs of the new album, Easter, and their previous album, Oxneers. They also played “Riding the Grape Dragon” from the first EP. My one and only complaint was this was the first time I’ve seen them not play my favorite song of theirs, “Drinking from the Necks of the Ones You Love”. However the new songs were so good live as was everything they played that it was like seeing some Super These Arms Are Snakes and I forgave them for not playing my favorite song. The band is easily a must-see live, in fact they could very well be at this moment be one of the best live bands still active in the world! They were that good!

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

I left the show speechless from being completely blown away from two amazing bands that played back to back on that dimly lit stage of the Beat Kitchen. The show was so good it even helped ease the pain of being at that club since I’m not a fan of it at all and it’s such a pain in the ass to photograph in, thanks to the limited safe spots (of which there is exactly one) and it being so small and usually poorly lit. I ended up having to use the flash more than half the time but this evening, Mouth of the Architect and These Arms Are Snakes made it totally worthwhile.

More photos after the jump, and even more on my flickr page.

River City Tan Lines
River City Tan Lines

River City Tan Lines
River City Tan Lines

River City Tan Lines
River City Tan Lines

Mouth of the Architect
Mouth of the Architect

Mouth of the Architect
Mouth of the Architect

Mouth of the Architect
Mouth of the Architect

Mouth of the Architect
Mouth of the Architect

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes
These Arms Are Snakes