Concert Review: Speedy Ortiz, Pile, Metz at the Middle East Upstairs 11-21-12

I kind of decided at the last minute to go out to this show, after skipping two other shows on Monday and Tuesday, I was really wanting to get out, so, it was off to Central Square. I arrived at the Middle East Upstairs, where Speedy Ortiz were already playing. First stop, the bar, where I skipped my usual UFO in favor of a Sam Adams Winter Lager, which was pretty good.

Speedy Ortiz at the Middle East Upstairs

Beer in hand, I set out to find a spot to see the rest of Speedy Ortiz’s set. This proved to be a near impossible task since the place was completely packed. I have never seen this many people at the Middle East Upstairs before, which is small enough as it is. I managed to stand in front of someone much taller than myself near the bar and catch the last few songs of Speedy Ortiz’s set. Speedy Ortiz are a female fronted band from Massachusetts and play a kind of grungy indie rock. Really wished I had gotten there earlier to see their entire set, but I will have to catch them at one of their upcoming shows.

Pile at the Middle East Upstairs 2Pile at the Middle East Upstairs 3Pile at the Middle East Upstairs 1

While waiting for Pile to set up, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of hipsters, beards, and hipsters with beards. For once, I felt out of place at a show. It was still near impossible to move around, but I somehow managed to grab a Harpoon UFO and move to the other side of the room to get a better view for Pile.

Pile could be best described as post hardcore and are from Boston. They really blew me away, in fact, they were my favorite band of the night. Pile tore through a good amount of songs and the crowd was definitely feeling it. I would highly recommend seeing these guys live as well as grabbing their excellent album “Dripping“.

Metz at the Middle East Upstairs 6Metz at the Middle East Upstairs 7Metz at the Middle East Upstairs 4Metz at the Middle East Upstairs 2

Coming from Toronto, Metz were up next and the place was soo packed, you really couldn’t move around. With the stage completely dark, Metz started playing. About a minute in, they stopped due to a broken guitar string, which singer Alex Edkins apologized for and mentioned that they had planned this epic opening. Ah, well, it happens. Once the string was replaced, they started over and played a pretty intense and very, very loud set for the rest of the night. People started moshing (I didn’t realize people still did that) and the noise from the band was intense. This was probably the loudest show I have seen since King Missile (yes…that band) at Club Babyhead in Providence in the early 90’s. The bass literally made your clothes vibrate. I was glad that I remembered to bring earplugs and have no idea how those without them surived. Fast and furious would be the best way to describe Metz’s entire set. It was basically a wall of noise with some vocals in there somewhere and yes, it was great! After Metz were finished, people weren’t sure if there was going to be an encore since the lights didn’t come up, but that was it.

I had a pretty good time, although it was kind of weird having the night end around 11:15pm. I ended up with Pile’ newest CD and a Metz t shirt, as well as a couple of much needed slices from HiFi Pizza and was home way too early, but since it was a pretty good night of music, I’ll take it.

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