Obits The Rock House, St. John's NF, April 20

Obits The Rock House, St. John's NF, April 20
Photo: Vish Khanna
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"This is the drunkest place I've ever been in my life," Rick Froberg said appreciatively of St. John's, early in Obits' highly anticipated Lawnya Vawnya set. He then proceeded to get completely plastered himself during one of the most unhinged and riveting shows the band have ever played. The sound on-stage was truly murky; the monitor mixes were simply too tiny to compete with the massive roar of guitars, which in turn were up against some loud-ass drums. As such, guitarist/vocalist Sohrab Habibion made several requests for sound adjustments, which never really came, and Froberg, resigned, kinda became the human manifestation of "Aw, fuck it," and, along with the fervent crowd, went and had himself a time. Swigging from bottles of beer and Maker's Mark, Froberg was all attitude, repeatedly joking about his band being "the pros from New York," whenever songs went awry. He snarled his way through a cover of the Kids' "The City is Dead" and the band dug in for a ferocious "Pine On." The audience seethed and surged in response; members of Yellowteeth (notably Josée Caron) would not stop crowd surfing under any circumstances. Froberg just plain gave up singing during "No Fly List" and an extended instrumental jam ensued with the band connecting in unfamiliar territory, as best they could. Froberg redeemed himself by growling all over "Talking to the Dog" and later got all up in his bandmates' faces for "You Gotta Lose," which had this nihilistic abandon to it. Mics and mic stands went flying, guitars were dropped — it was drunken chaos in so many ways. But as Obits played some brand new, untested songs and took weird detours on older ones in an unfriendly noise soup, it all had a glory to it. It was raw power in every sense and St. John's harnessed it all.

To see Exclaim!'s Lawnya Vawnya photo gallery, head here.