The Scene: The Hi-Dive was fairly empty last night when Birdmonster took the stage, maybe it’s because they came on relatively early for the venue or maybe it’s because they just don’t have enough of a following yet. The crowd of 70 or so was primarily in their late twenties and early thirties though the venue was set up for an “all ages” show which only meant that those of us who were of age couldn’t stand in front of the stage and have a beer. I’ve got say that I am not really a fan of this idea. I am all for all ages shows but let me stand where I can see and hear the band, not back behind some chicken wire fence because I want to have a beer. We’ll have to see if this is a trend at Hi-Dive or if it was just for this show. As you can see it didn’t sit well with me last night.
Birdmonster: The band took the stage at about 10:45, very early for a headliner at the Hi-Dive. I was expecting them to come on closer to midnight but it was a welcome surprise when lead singer Peter Arcuni stepped up to the mic and said “We’re Birdmonster, thanks for coming,” before launching into the first of 8 or so fierce rock-n-roll ragers that brought to mind The Strokes and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.
While the sound in the club was fairly horrible, the band made up it with pure unadulterated energy as they threw themselves about the stage without missing a beat. At moments I was sure they were going to slam into each other and send guitars and basses crashing to the ground. It was good see this much raw energy slide around the stage in front of the modest Thursday night crowd.
Throughout the short 35 minute set, the band rose to startling crescendos and swooped back down into intimate and almost delicate passages effortlessly. Birdmonster may not yet have all the kinks worked out but they certainly have the passion to be a force in this business.
If you are looking for a raw, original, rock-n-roll show, check out these San Francisco natives. Aside from the sound (and I am not blaming the band for that) my only complaint was that they only played for 35 minutes . . . I mean their full length album No Midnight clocks in at 48 minutes and I was ready to hear a little more when they packed it in.
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light Show: N/A