Titus Andronicus rocks Schine with gritty sound

Review: The folk-punk band mixes old and new tracks for an engaged Schine Underground crowd.

If you didn’t know about Titus Andronicus’ lo-fi folk-punk fusion, the sight of Syracuse University students' head banging might’ve been a jarring visual.

The band headlined a WERW and Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association co-sponsored show at the Schine Underground on Thursday along with bands Caveman and local student band The Vanderbuilts.

As the doors opened, a few people slowly made their way onto the floor. Small groups stood in circles talking, wondering where all the people were. In typical concert form, the show started a half an hour late. The first act up was The Vanderbuilts, a local SU group, whose instruments included a violin. As they began their set, people moved in front of the stage, slowly bobbing their heads and tapping their feet. The band was able to get some people moving, shouting out to friends in the audience and combining the beat of their music with the changing of the school spirited lights.

Photo: Ilana Goldmeier

Next up was New York City-based band Caveman. As Caveman performed, the mood in the room started to pick up, and people began to move. The audience was tapping their toes and bobbing their heads right along with the band.

As Caveman finished up, the crowd started to grow as fans anxiously awaited the headline act, Titus Andronicus. After some deafening sound issues and banter with the screaming crowd, during which they referred to the crowd as a faceless mass due to the lights in their faces, Titus began their classic rock meets head-banger style and the crowd instantly came alive. iPhones changed apps from iMessage and Twitter to Camera and Instagram. Starting off with some established hits like “Upon Viewing Bruegel's 'Landscape With the Fall of Icarus,'” Titus moved on to some newer tracks, and to the elation of most of the crowd the band mentioned they would be recording a new album soon. As they continued to play, the formerly lifeless crowd danced, moving their feet and bodies to the beat.

After each band performed their set, they walked through the crowd, took a look at the giveaway tables, and mingled. Fans were polite and didn’t mob them for autographs, pictures, or a handshake on a hand they would never wash again. They just wanted to talk about the music. It definitely wasn't a Britney Spears-style show all about the performance. It was all about the music.

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