Viet Cong Fader Fort, Austin TX, March 20
Published Mar 21, 2015It's simple: Viet Cong were on the wrong bill. Scheduled just after Kehlani's pop/R&B hybrid and before Migos and secret guests Big Sean and T-Pain, the Calgary natives found themselves playing to an audience about as receptive to them as Ivan Krasnov.
The Calgary natives began with an energetic "Continental Shelf," but the muddy mix made it difficult to hear Matt Flegel's voice over the bass-heavy din of the band; it was met with scattered applause, and a whoop or two, but the crowd was mostly unresponsive. The band soldiered on, but on a stage high above the crowd, they looked out of their punk club element as they charged through "Bunker Buster." By that point, the mix was balanced somewhat, and they sounded good, but the damage had been done; and with no way back, they decided to embrace the outsider status.
After promising that they were going to do one more song, they jeered sponsors Converse — "We'd like to thank Nike for putting this thing on!" — and then the crowd: "I smell reefer! Don't you know that the cops are here?"
Then, they closed with the unforgiving, 12-minute "Death." The song's length, not to mention its repetitive, hypnotic ending, had many in the crowd plugging their ears and shaking their heads, but Viet Cong were unfazed as they revelled in the long outro like pigs in shit. Not a bad set, though.