While Reputante and We Are Scientists played great sets (We Are Scientists’s set seemed particularly short, for some reason), the crowd was definitely there to see North Ireland’s Ash, who blew away the crowd from the start of “Lose Control” to the final note of “Burn Baby Burn.” For almost 2 hours, they plowed through their “best of” set with the kind of energy you expect from a band that’s new to the scene – not one with a 20-year history.
The trio played about half of the entire 1996 album (entitled 1977), along with what can only be described as “the hits,” though we both know Ash aren’t superstars here in the States the way they are in the U.K. But hey – the smaller the crowd, the greater share of glory, right?
Noticeably absent from the set was much of the A-Z series, a release they are supposedly promoting here in the states. Earlier this month, Noyes Records pressed the A-Z series on three LPs in limited-edition box set form here in the U.S., with the first 500 being on clear vinyl!!! Ok, so I’m a vinyl nerd. It is highly recommended and you can get it here.
The A-Z series was a great idea, and there were a ton of great tracks on it: “The Dead Disciples,” “Dionysian Urge,” “War With Me,” “Dare to Dream,” “Spheres,” and the epic “Sky Burial,” among many others. I would have loved for them to dive deeper into this material, as they only played about 4 or 5 tracks from A-Z. But for a band that plays consistently as well as they do (I’ve seen them about 4 times now), and who tour the U.S. as infrequently as they do, I’m not complaining.
After the encore, Ash surprised everyone by bringing out We Are Scientists to do 2 covers: “Touch Me I’m Sick” (Mudhoney), and “Only In Dreams” (Weezer). Seriously, Ash and We Are Scientists covering a Weezer song was almost too much nerdiness for me to handle. And I collect vinyl!
Overall, it was a great night – they played their asses off and the crowd soaked up every minute of it.