Thursday night at the Knitting Factory was anything but typical. Sub Pop’s CMJ showcase boasted a fast-paced, in your face lineup that forced everyone through the hot and sweaty venue doors and into the pit. Pennsylvania’s Pissed Jeans may have headlined, but it seemed as though King Tuff and Metz took the cake on this one.
Metz calls Vancouver (and my heart) home. The power brought forth by this trio during their set was incredible, getting the crowd moving and people talking once they wrapped. “Those dudes fucking ruled,” was the consensus. The band played songs from their 2012 self-titled debut album, like “Headache” and “Get Off” and the pit was in full effect as the stage dripped with sweat.
King Tuff and his band began to set up by pinning a red, white, and blue banner in front of the Knitting Factory logo at the back of the stage, and getting their Shirley Temples situated before gearing up for a wild set of songs. “Finally King Tuff has returned to the Knitting fucking Factory,” Tuff proclaimed before driving into a poppy and upbeat slew of songs that eventually expanded the pit to take up the entire floor. “Freak when I’m dead,” he chanted throughout the aptly titled “Freak When I’m Dead,” and members of the crowd chimeed in, accompanying said chants with fist pumps. Anchored by a guitarist and bassist who stepped straight out of Boogie Nights, the dudes brought the noise and the hilarity. They were an animated group who’s energy never faltered, even after a couple futile attempts to reenact David Lee Roth’s signature guitar air kick.
Pissed Jeans was up next and while the band was setting up, the frontman came out and did schtick on the mic, letting people know what other bands were playing CMJ at that same exact time by pulling out a list from his pocket and roasting every single name on said list. He got some laughs and distracted the crowd before all hell broke loose as the drums began to pound and the guitars started to riff. Dedicating the first song to Snoop Dogg, Pissed Jeans’ act was intense right out of the gate. Lead singer Matt Korvette began tugging at his shirt collar, looking like he wanted to tear it off his body as he writhed around screaming and dripping with sweat. Opening with “False Jessii Part 2,” and an array of sounds from their other two albums, Pissed Jeans brought the noise to a crowd that seemed a little tuckered out from the constant assault of the previous acts.