Published Oct 14, 2010The last time Superchunk released an album back in 2001 George W. Bush had only just become president, the first iPods weren't even in stores yet and somehow rap-rock was still culturally relevant. Nevertheless, that didn't stop the one-time rock'n'roll underdogs turned indie rock parent figures from bridging the nearly decade-long gap with the stand-up Majesty Shredding earlier this year. And while the foursome show some increased signs of age, that hardly mattered to the slack motherfuckers gathered for Superchunk's first Vancouver show in god knows how long.
The North Carolina-based indie heroes got things off to a strange start, opening with the mid-paced 1995 rocker "Green Flowers, Blue Fish," a song you'd hardly call a crowd favourite and one that had the Chunkers trading nervous glances. But by song two, the blistering "For Tension," any anxieties had been calmed, as multi-member pogoing overtook the stage and an era-appropriate pit formed below.
It quickly became clear that, despite their years, Superchunk aren't out to act their age and get all adult on us, as frontman Mac McCaughan led the animated band through a night of goofy stage banter, teenage rock moves and more punk rock zeal than that of a group half their age. It was also obvious the band aren't ones to simply rely on their back catalogue; a hefty chunk of Majesty Shredding was served up, including killer renditions of singles "Crossed Wires" and "Digging for Something." And while Superchunk definitely made sure to play a few "hits," such as "The First Part," "Driveway to Driveway" and "Watery Hands," lesser-know tracks like Indoor Living's "Song for Marion Brown" and an even more punked-up "Punch Me Harder" made it onto the list as well.
But really, this show was all about the encore. Kicking off with the classic cover of Sebadoh's "Brand New Love," the band really fired up those slowing metabolisms with their Gen X anthem "Slack Motherfucker." This was quickly topped, though, with the equally classic "Fishing," in which McCaughan traded spots with Jon Wurster as the drummer/funny guy took over the mic for a transition into Black Flag's "My War." It only got punkier when, after a speech about Glenn Danzig being the real "boss" of New Jersey, Wurster led Superchunk through a horn-inducing version of the Misfits' "Horror Business." Throw in the closing "Hyper Enough" and maybe that gap didn't feel so weird after all.