So, as it turns out, you are not supposed to hold an underground concert in the basement of Graves without faculty supervision. You especially are not supposed to use a smoke machine inside a small room that has smoke detectors in it. Who knew? Angkst surely did not, because they put on one of the best concerts of the year in the basement of Graves with a smoke machine and no faculty supervision. This just happens to be the recipe for a rockin’ concert and those who skipped out on the Mardi Gras dance to attend surely did not miss a thing. The downstairs lobby of Graves was decorated in “crime scene” tape and lights with colored plastic sheets over them, creating the perfect setting for hardcore rock music, or as some people like to call it, “kill your parents” music. Angkst took the make-shift stage at about 10 p.m. and opened up with a cover of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”—yes, that song that every girl knew in sixth grade. It was an interesting song choice (and by interesting I mean weird and out of place) but it definitely was not bad. Frontman David Billingsley ’05 led the angst-y boys, with Ben Lasman ’06 and Scout Kingery ’04 on guitar. Alex Malozemoff ’05 played bass, Nate Greenberg ’05 played synth, and Jason Duffet ’05 kept the beat on the drums. Following “Wananbe,” the band’s play list was entirely self-composed. “Where Do I Belong?,” the first song written by the band, seemed an appropriate way to begin the concert. The tune was great and really got the crowd pumped for the rest of the show. The band is loud when they play; enough to make your head hurt, but hurt in a mind-blowingly spectacular way. “Out of the Darkness” came next, followed by one of my favorites, “Rest in Peace.” A “vaguely religious song,” according to Lasman, it contained many spiritual references and was written in an effort to “broaden [Angkst’s] fan base to include religious fundamentalists.” You know what? My friend is an atheist and he loved it. The next song entitled “Knocking on Heavens Door” was not quite the song I had anticipated. This was no Guns and Roses power guitar music. Loud bursts of music were sectioned off by a piano riff. During these riffs, Billingsley showed us what his mama gave him and busted out a couple sweet, sweet rhymes. The slower tempo rap was well performed and despite its deceiving name, the song was a crowd favorite. To round off the first half of the show, Angkst played their song “Inside of You,” a take-off on Godsmack. Although it lacked the originality characteristic of other Angkst songs, the song was well-played. Round two of the bout began with “Flight of the Butterfly.” I do not think this song was really about a butterfly, but if it were, I never want to meet it because he would probably kill me. The melody of the song was great and captivated me and the ladies and gents around me. Then, all of a sudden, the band transitioned from the smooth-sounding “Flight of the Butterfly” to the excruciating screaming of “Throne of Thorns.” “Throne” was a very dreary song, perfect for a dark, dank basement such as the one in Graves. It was also ideal for moshing, which is exactly what the crowd did. Nobody was hurt and face it: this is Andover, we don’t know how to mosh. We at least pretended we did and, in the end, had a lot of fun. The band followed “Throne of Thorns” with “Deathquake,” which was equally, if not more, dreary. For this song, Taylor Allbright ’04 lent a hand to the boys of Angkst, providing sweet vocals to accompany the slow piano riff in the band’s most ”angst-y” song. The next two songs, “Force of Nature” and “Cold,” were both songs that I enjoyed, but did not make the biggest impression on me. However, both, with a little work, could be spectacular songs. “Black Crow” was slated at the last song, so it was obviously the one about which the band felt most strong. So did I. The lyrics, or at least what I understood of them, were great. Following this epic performance, the band seemed reluctant to end their spectacular night. What did they do next? An “encore” of sorts, playing what was probably the crowd favorite, “Where Do I Belong.” Let me recap for you. Angkst = Sweet. Next time they play, find them. And bring earplugs.
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