Monday night in Canberra is not a typical night people would choose to go out and watch some live music. But last Monday at Transit Bar there was a surprisingly big turnout for the New York based, three-piece band, A Place To Bury Strangers.
Before I left for Transit, I looked up A Place To Bury Strangers and was surprised to see their music described by many as ‘noise’. I was unsure whether this would be a good thing or not.
Doors opened at eight o clock and people started to trickle in. Tourists from the youth hostel upstairs crowded together on couches, made conversation at the bar or sat in corners looking pensive.
At about nine o clock, Melbourne three piece ‘Pearls’ took to the stage, two young girls and one lad. It was refreshing to see a girl behind the drum kit for once, and she certainly gave it all she had.
They launched into their first song, and it was loud and grungy, with sweet vocals from the keyboardist and the guitarist/lead singer. Apart from a few technical difficulties with sound, the band did a great job in entertaining the crowd, and certainly prepared our ears for the rest of the evening’s onslaught.
At about ten thirty A Place To Bury Strangers appeared on stage. They dove into their first song, blasting us with distorted guitar, drums and fairly mellow vocals. Their sound would be best described as psychedelic rock, and as I looked around the room, everybody seemed captivated by the band’s unique sound.
After a few songs people were starting to loosen up (It was a Monday night after all!) A few punters stood at the back and danced, edging closer with every song. The music was something you could easily lose yourself in. The sound vibrated through the furniture and filled the room, it was all encompassing.
Time seemed to slow down, and some songs seemed to go for five or ten minutes. It was a truly bizarre atmosphere in Transit Bar, and I liked it.
Song after song poured out of these three men, each as different as the last. Some were mainly music, others were full of lyrics. A Place To Bury Strangers presented the audience with a mixed bag of tunes, keeping them guessing up until the very last song.
Their final song drew a few more people to dance, and when they finally put down their instruments there was a loud cheer from the crowd.
After the show, the New York lads hung around to meet some of the audience and seemed to genuinely enjoy speaking to their new-found fans.
There were posters and CD’s for sale up the back of the bar. If I hadn’t spent my last twenty dollars on drinks, I certainly would have bought one!
Canberra can be a strange place at times. Who would know that on a Monday night in a quaint little bar underneath a youth hostel, an amazing American rock band was shaking the foundations and rocking their way into our little hearts, late into the night.