Thee Oh Sees @ club Chelsea, Vienna

Thee Oh Sees + Zentralheizung of Death
Chelsea, Wien

Teenbeat Sommerfest and Rokko’s Adventures release party

I walked into a decently crowded Chelsea to catch the set of the opening band, Zentralheizung of Death, and what a nice surprise it was.
They manage to shake off the “garage rock” label, by mixing different neighboring styles (punk, noise, surf, spoken word samples) in an original manner. ZHOD are tight and loud live, and most importantly, they have fun while playing, and that is definitely fun to see. 

The room got a lot more crowded before the start of Thee Oh Sees, headliners of the night. 
As you all probably know, Thee Oh Sees first emerged as John Dwyer’s side output for more experimental recordings, slowly evolving into a full-time-full-band, heading more and more in a straightforward rock direction. 

I had the chance of watching them in a festival setting, and was amazed and how they manage to hypnotize and connect with the audience, even in an oversized stage. It´s easy to see that a place like Chelsea, which was by then a sweaty cavern, would be the ideal environment to see them soaked in sweat, beer, reverb and distortion.

They played for about an hour and a half, without much of a pause between songs, which kept the tension in the room alive.
The distorted vocals, jangly plexi guitar, looping bass lines, and keyboards give their songs a ghostly quality live. The setlist was a mixture of songs off their most recent studio effort (Floating Coffin, Castle Face records) and older songs. 

The last tune of the set (Minotaur, from the band´s newest album), slower, trippier and gentler, acted as some sort of decompression chamber between such an intense show and our ordinary lives.

To finish I would like to mention it was probably the best sounding gig I have seen in Chelsea, I don´t know if they made some changes in their sound system, or it was just  a great soundman touring with Thee Oh Sees, but the concert sounded fantastic. It was great to see a so well attended concert in Vienna, with people supporting the band by not only attending the show, but also buying lots of merchandise, sure, there are a few of us with buzzing ears today, but I guess we all agree it was well worth it.

Text: Miguel Figuerola
Video: Svetlomir Slavchev, Javi Figuerola