Wednesday night. You live in San Diego. You work early Thursday morning. One of the most exciting bands you have ever seen live is headlining a show in Los Angeles. What do you do? For me, the answer is simple: Hop in my car and drive 2 hours to L.A.
I’ll be the first to admit I was at the show for The Coathangers and The Coathangers only. I had no idea who any of the opening bands were. Death Hymn Number 9 and Death Valley Girls? Wow, way to wear out the broad spectrum of band names, idiots. But then Death Hymn Number 9 took the stage and it was I who was the idiots. Decked out in half-assed corpse paint, these 4 dudes played some of the fastest, purest punk rock I’ve seen in a long, long time. The only thing I didn’t fully understand was why the guitar player was sitting in a metal folding chair. But hey, what the hell do I know?
When Death Valley Girls took the stage I was outside smoking and talking to Myra and Jennie from Bad Cop/Bad Cop. What? Kevin was outside smoking and talking instead of watching the bands? Shocking, I know. But after being blown away by DHN9, I got to say, I wasn’t super eager to go back in. And this time, I wasn’t wrong. Death Valley Girls were already half way through their set when I wandered back inside. Now here’s the deal, outside of Creed or Puddle of Mudd, I will never say a band is bad. Who the fuck am I to make that call? What I will say is, this band just isn’t what I’m into. There is an indie vibe line drawn in the sand and they were on the wrong side for my taste. It’s all good though because they played well enough that the crowd was into it, plus the band was wearing capes. So that’s cool.
I was standing on the side of the stage when The Coathangers were prepping to go on. It was funny to me to hear people talking about how “Oh, they set up their own gear” and “I wonder if they are going to do an encore tonight?” Maybe the punk scene has jaded me. Whatever. The lights went off, the crowd roared, and The Coathangers jumped on stage and played for what felt like forever – the good kind of forever. The forever where you honestly hope they just never stop and it went on for the literal FOREVER.
The Coathangers have been steadily growing in popularity since forming almost 10 years ago and there is a reason for that. They are one of the best bands you will see live. Exciting and super tight, they sound absolutely amazing. Julia Kugel (Crook Kid) shreds on guitar while belting out higher tone almost pop-like vocals while Stephanie Luke (Rusty) beats the shit out of the drums and growls out words at the same time in the kind of voice that would make Chuck Ragan or Brody Dalle proud. And they are all backed up by Meredith Franco (Minnie) slapping her god damned bass that is almost as big as she is like a fucking pro, while also taking the reigns as lead vocalist for a few songs. If that wasn’t enough, they switch around instruments, each taking turns drumming, shredding, slapping and just straight up singing. Julia also perfectly played a squeak toy (really) on the song “Squeeki Tiki” off their new album Nosebleed Weekend (review coming soon). So yes, if you hear The Coathangers are coming near you, don’t be an idiot and go.
* all photos by Kevin Rettie
The Coathangers will be releasing Nosebleed Weekend on April 15th through Suicide Squeeze Records. Preorder the vinyl here.
4/15 – Star Bar – Atlanta, GA
4/21 – Low Key Arts – Hot Springs, AR
4/22 – Club Dada – Dallas, TX
4/23 – Norman Music Festival – Norman, OK
4/25 – Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
4/27 – Yerberia Cultura – Mcallen, TX
4/28 – Prepare for Levitation (Psychfest Pre-Party) – Austin, TX
4/29 – Siberia Nola – New Orleans, LA
5/05 – MOTH – London, United Kingdom
5/06 – Espace B – Paris, France
5/07 – Nuits Sonores Festival – Lyon, France
5/08 – Frauenraum – Bern, Switzerland
5/09 – Strom – Munich, Germany
5/10 – Tsunami Club – Cologne, Germany
5/11 – Melkweg Theater – Amsterdam, Netherlands
5/13 – Wine Nat White Heat Festival – Nantes, France
5/14 – Le Galion – Lorient, France
5/16 – Magasin 5 – Brussels, Belgium
5/17 – Rotown – Rotterdam, Netherlands
5/18 – Übel und Gefährlich – Hamburg, Germany
5/19 – Badehaus – Berlin, Germany
5/21 – Project Pabst – Denver Denver, CO
5/26 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
5/27 – The Fonda – Los Angeles, CA
5/28 – The Glasshouse – Pomona, CA
5/30 – Belly Up – Solana Beach, CA
5/31 – Rialto Theater – Tucson, AZ
6/01 – Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
6/03 – Trees – Dallas, TX
6/04 – Free Press Festival – Houston, TX
6/05 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
6/07 – Maverick’s at The Landing – Jacksonville, FL
6/08 – Revolution – Fort Lauderdale, FL
6/09 – The Beacham Theater – Orlando, FL
6/11 – Club 77 – San Juan, PR
8/27 – Project Pabst – Portland, OR