Small in size and devoid of the grunginess that is typically paired with DIY spaces, Bushwick’s Fort Useless has been a haven for local musicians and artists since its inception and celebrated its two-year anniversary on Saturday night.
Weird Children kicked off the celebratory show with energy. Punchy indie pop with a smattering of punk kept the crowd swaying and engaged, and choruses belted out in unison built intensity and plentiful whoa-ohs kept it fun. Uninhibited stage banter drew laughter from around the room, transforming Weird Children’s set into a multi-level performance.
Usually a four-piece, Gold Streets was a five-piece for the night. Jeremiah McVay, the man behind all that is Fort Useless, hopped on auxiliary percussion, pounding on a rack tom and switching to the main drum kit at times. Atmospheric interludes built up melodic indie psych with a keen focus on instrumentals. Drummer/vocalist T. Almy’s juxtaposition of tight beats and floaty crooning was particularly impressive.
Unsacred Hearts weaved elements of punk, garage, and blues into a sneering rock ‘n’ roll front. Rollicking singalong anthems provoked a mini-mosh pit.
Headliner Shark? dished out hazy rolling lo-fi with plenty of hook to an eager crowd. Clear enthusiasm and humor made for a stand out performance.
When all was said and done, a sense of community lingered. Showgoers shared cheap beers, bands patted each other on the back post-set. When asked how this two-year journey has all panned out, McVay happily commented, “It’s exceeded my expectations. It’s been embraced by a lot of people—a lot of the right people.”
All photos below by Jeremy Cook