If you didn’t know what a fervent cult following the Marked Men have—and you live in Brooklyn—you know now. The Denton, Texas, plower-pop combo that was mostly active during the early Aughts, and then splintered into a few different side projects (Mind Spiders, High Tension Wires and more), has recently started doing the occasional reunion show, but haven’t played the NYC area in over six years. A quick sellout of Friday’s show at St. Vitus led to Saturday night and Saturday afternoon show sellouts there too. No, it wasn’t Madison Square Graden, but it’s nice to know that such a prolific and solidly consistent garage band can reap such love after many years.
Wisconsin trio Tenement loosened up the crowd’s eardrums with what could be described as “a punk Cream.” Over only four songs, their three-chord racers wound out into jams that, just as they were about to have you throw up a white flag, would jump right back into the three chords bashing out quick endings. There were some guitar troubles too, and the singer/guitarist took to shaking some metal bells for a while during one breakdown.
Once the Marked Men sauntered onto the stage unassumingly around 11 p.m., their first chord lit the crowd like a firecracker, and it was head/fist/foot-chugging all the way. The second song, On The Outside, was already garnering the kind of third-encore response any band would love. The band themselves even let out some surprised looks and smiles between blazing through an unstoppable set of their brand of slahing pop-punk, utterly untainted by the usual syrupy whining and flat guitars that cover most bands from the 2000s who might be described as pop-punk. Straight-up, no gimmicks, just extremely catchy songs slick with sweat. A chat with leader Mark Ryan before the show left some hints that this ain’t some farewell tour. And from reports, the two Saturday shows were just as nuts. So hopefully it won’t be six years before they buzz through your town again.
Photos by Jeremy Harris.