Thursday night was definitely the latter.
When I approached the Skull, I could already hear the guttural screams of Sign Off threatening to blow the wooden door wide open.
“Well, this is going to be interesting,” I remarked to my concert buddy, Carolyn Menyes.
We took the two or three steps to the general vicinity of the stage and stood near the back of the crowd. I immediately noticed that the audience had basically segregated itself into the boy camp and the girl camp. The boys stood at the front taking in the action, while the girls hung back and stared bemusedly at the band.
I was honestly a little wary of Sign Off at first. The abrasive vocals caught me off guard, but I gave them a chance and it was worth it.
They had this filthy grunge sound that rubbed me the right way. It was a little reminiscent of the Melvins. The bass was sludgy (in a good way), but still had that punk rock bounce to it. Though it’s obvious that I’m partial to bass, I was also really impressed with the drum work. The beat was clean enough to stand out, but also kept the guitar and bass on the same page. I recall giving the drummer a polite golf clap at the end of a song (you know, out of respect.)
What really made Sign Off’s set interesting was the crowd’s response. A handful of guys standing at the front was getting really into it. I noticed a few of them singing (screaming?) along to some of the songs. It really warms my heart to see a smaller band connect with an audience like that.
I particularly loved the synchronized head bobbing going on. The one thought going through my head was, “Yes, my little grunge chickens. Dance. DANCE.”
Things lightened up a bit when BFF took the stage. They had more of a blink-182(ish) pop-punk sound, which was a nice contrast to the heaviness of Sign Off. Their crowd was noticeably larger, but their set was fairly short and I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to hear more.
Though I unfortunately had to miss Tiny Moving Parts and Difficult Dogs, I’m sure they did a great job. I’ll catch you guys another time, I promise.
Oh, and Sign Off? You get the Rad Band of the Night award. Congrats!