Last Friday night saw the tattooed, slick-haired punks of Tiger Army playing the early, all-ages show down in the Domino Room. A raucously devout throng of mostly young fans gleefully tossed their bodies toward the stage as Nicky 13 and the rest of Tiger Army powered through the opening cut. But in a matter of minutes, Nicky was lecturing the crowd as to the dangers of throwing shit at the band - an unfortunate, yet omnipresent occurrence at all-ages punk shows. Apparently some people love their favorite bands so much that they simply must inflict bodily harm to these musicians by throwing pennies, batteries or small children in the general direction of said artist.
The deluge of wayward objects subsided and the trio continued on with a solidly energetic set as SoundCheck, then headed over to wait in a line that slowly ascended the stairway up into the Annex where Lake Tahoe's Blue Turtle Seduction was already dishing out their psychedelic pop-grass by the steaming spoonful. Normally, Sound Check doesn't like waiting in lines and we've been known to cut -sometimes we're "looking for our little brother," or maybe we need to "pee really bad," then at other moments we just pretend like we can't hear your profanities as we cut directly in front of you. But we waited politely and reverently on this night because it was good to wait in line for once; this meant that people were getting back out to the shows following a few lackluster showings including but not limited to the Conor Oberst show.
The Annex was crowded, gyrating with dancers and dripping with sweat - just how we like it - as BTS played a set that seemed to differ from their two 4 Peaks' performances a fortnight prior. Maybe it was the low ceiling or the intimate venue, but songs like "Antidote" and "Foot by Foot" were louder, faster and far more apt to urging the crowd to bounce along than out on the farm.
As BTS' second set got underway, Tiger Army fans were emerging from the Domino Room and starting to the second level of the venue while listening to a sound that couldn't have been any different than the smoothly wrought punk-meets-country-on-Halloween of Tiger Army. A couple kids looked genuinely interested. Or perhaps, like Sound Check, they were just stoked to see people out again. -Mike Bookey