Basement shows have always been a vital part of the punk rock movement, and Piradical Productions continues the tradition at the ES Jungle, located downstairs at a church in Broad Ripple. In a scene dominated by bar shows, the Jungle provides the under 21 crowd with the opportunity to see their favorite bands on stage in a comfortable, unassuming setting. On Saturday night, the Piradical kids opened their doors to a group of energetic youths ready to see some serious punk rock.
Wait Til Wednesday started the evening off with their brand of distorted lyricism. They play simple 4/4 punk songs using only a few chords, but add melodic intros and slow sections to the mix. While their set was not particularly memorable, the small crowd began circling and pumping their fists while vocalist/bassist Peter Evans belied his small stature and screamed mightily. Their songs improved towards the end as they sped up, dropped the pretty parts and played some straight-up punk that sounded like a combination of early American hardcore and Pennywise.
People mingled and chatted on the Jungle's blue sofas while they waited for Lafayette band The Lawnmower Incident to begin their first set in Indianapolis. They're a group of talented young men who may have too much time on their hands; advanced calculus was necessary to keep up with their constantly changing time signatures. At first, the audience seemed puzzled by the convoluted drum beats, speedy bass, bleeding guitar notes and pacing, writhing vocalist, but they eventually got into it and started moving to the Dillinger Escape Plan-esque sound. Bassist Ben Moore was thrilled with the spectators' reaction and said that he sincerely hopes that The Lawnmower Incident revisits Indianapolis.
The crowd continued to grow slowly as people trickled through the doors in pairs and small groups. A few over-21 folks even showed up at the all-ages venue, daring to bridge the enormous gap between the over- and underage scenes as Maravich took the stage.
Maravich's sound blends Fugazi's aggression and the polished guitars of the Weakerthans with a dash of grunge. Lead singer Jim Rawlinson is a talented vocalist and guitarist who uses his pedals to impeccably change the sound of his strings as he wails into the mic in between solos. But drummer Benjamin Hunt was the one to watch on stage as he hammered his kit, playing perfect, uncomplicated rhythms with incredible vigor. Although the kids had trouble forming their usual melee during the comparatively down-tempo songs, they stayed close to the stage, nodding and smiling in appreciation.
Expectations were lofty for headliners Stand and Deliver, a new band created from the ashes of beloved Indy bands About the Fire and Virgil. They opened their set explosively with "This Static" as vocalist Fat Sammy pushed the crowd into a mass of jumping circle pitters. His vocal style and crowd interaction became legendary while he was with About the Fire, and he clearly hasn't lost his touch, remaining on the floor with the fans for the entire show. Streaming sweat and singing with throaty emotion, he gave audience members individual attention, which they returned with resounding energy by fervently dancing and chanting along. Lead guitarist Bob Bridges accented palm mutes and downstroked bar chords with simple but evocative solos in a style reminiscent of Face to Face and Samiam. Drummer Jason Rollings maintained a steady beat with snare and high hat, backing a vibrating fretless bass to complete a powerful instrumental blend. Stand and Deliver won over more than a few new fans with their set, the crowd's adoration reflected in Sammy's sweat and ringing guitar tones.