Car Seat Headrest + Naked Giants – Live @ Cambridge Junction
aaamusic | On 31, May 2018
Monday 21st May, Cambridge
We arrived in Cambridge on a warm night to see Seattle-based indie rock band Car Seat Headrest. The unusual name of the band comes from visionary Will Toledo’s decision to record the vocals of his first albums in the back seat of his car for privacy. The band have a large cult following and the venue was almost at capacity when the band came on.
Starting with fellow Seattle-based trio Naked Giants and the evening starts with real power and the feeling that grunge is not dead. Lots of flailing hair, head bouncing and falling on the floor with legs in the air. They sounded and looked the part and their debut album Sluff is produced by Steve Fisk, who worked with Nirvana and Soundgarden back in the 90s.
Car Seat Headrest enter the stage and are made up as a six-piece with all the members of Naked Giants joining them, making for a formidable unit. They launch into an unexpected cover of Talking Heads ‘Crosseyed and Painless’ which is a brilliantly funky and dancey start. Next up is the soaringly upbeat ‘Bodys’ which sounds great with the two drummers and two guitarists on board, in fact the sound throughout is fantastic due to the acoustics of the Junction and tonight it is spot on. The already lively crowd get even more excited as the rocky ‘Fill In The Blank’ is played before the best titled song of the evening is unleashed ‘(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)’.
A powerful ‘Destroyed by Hippie Powers’ is next which sounds very west coast grungy, before the loudest reception and sing-a-long is reserved for the well-known anthem ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ which is even more emotive than the album version. Things quieten down with Will taking to the keyboard for a cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘White Ferrari’ before sliding into another sing-a-long cover, this time Nina Simone’s ‘Do What You Gotta Do’. The set ends with the furry of ‘Nervous Young Inhumans’ which whips the crowd into a frenzy and even a circle pit complete with moshing. This song has brilliant guitar and a beat that will contend itself for a future classic rock track.
The band of course re-enter the stage for a two song encore, the first of which Will picks up his guitar for the first time tonight, to show off his much improved stage presence with ‘Sober to Death’ which was followed by a wild rendition of the 14 minute ‘Beach Life-In-Death’
Everybody agreed, this was on one heck of a fun performance and a band that should be seen anytime they come to these shores again!