Last night, at the Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design Fall Weekend Concert, headliner Titus Andronicus treated the audience at Brown’s Simmons Quad to a mix of new songs, presumably from their upcoming October LP, Local Business, songs from their first two albums, 2008’s The Airing of Grievances and 2010’s opus The Monitor, and a surprise encore cover.
Looking appropriately adolescent, the band’s clean-shaven front man, Patrick Stickles, donning a sweatshirt and cargo pants, screamed, sweated, and coughed his way through the New Jersey Punk band’s beautifully brash set. The sound of their set mirrored the progression from Grievances to Monitor: songs like “Arms Against Atrophy” were faithful to the lo-fi recording of Grievances, while Monitor songs like “No Future Pt. 3”, which Stickles dedicated to all of the Seniors in the audience, were, simply put, loud. The constantly moshpit-forming crowd’s favorite moments seemed to come during tracks from The Monitor, from chanting, “You will always be a loser!” during the aforementioned “Future” to singing along word-for-word to the Bruce Springsteen and Civil War referencing “A More Perfect Union”. While the band unfortunately didn’t end their set with an encore performance of 14-minute epic “The Battle of Hampton Roads”, they did cover The Modern Lovers’ classic “Roadrunner”. With a cigarette in one hand and the mic in the other, Stickles jumped around and shouted the lyrics as the rest of the band churned out a faithful rendition of Jonathan Richman’s Seventies road-trip favorite.
The opening acts were two DJs: Brown student Ryan Glassman, known as Area 6, and Tokimonsta, from Flying Lotus’s Los Angeles-based electronic and instrumental hip-hop label, Brainfeeder. Both DJs remixed some of the best electronic and hip-hop music from this year, including tracks from DJ duo TNGHT’s brilliant self-titled debut EP and Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky’s party anthem of the year, “Hands on the Wheel”.