Too many good shows on Friday, but we managed to catch two of them. If Big Surr aren't careful, they're going to become one of our favorite new bands, but maybe not if people keep crowd-surfing with backpacks on at their shows. Or maybe in spite of that. We walked into The End around 10:15 and happened on an already crowded room that pretty much felt like a college party, right down to hearing people talk about final exams and the part where someone got hit in the face with a beer bottle and her friends were like, "Aww," and kept on drinking.
So yeah, Big Surr. We missed the first part of their set, but did catch some songs they played off their Miss You Most EP, and they were like some kind of headbanging Velvets-y surf band with vocals that are all about the pains of being Surr at heart. They closed with "Gone" and then they were. We like them. We drank some beer as Evil Bebos were impersonating Black Sabbath across the street at Exit/In, which talent booker Ryan Bruce told us was awesome. We checked that out for a minute, and it was just the kind of thing that fans of Black Sabbath and Evil Bebos (e.g., The Spin) would find themselves hoisting invisible oranges at.
Then it was back to The End, where a Turbo Fruits, a Heavy Cream, a Ghostfinger and a Cy were among the crowd. We heard at least three different people say they thought Powerbrrrd sucked, but there were a lot more than three people watching them play and seeming to enjoy themselves. Whereas Big Surr were at least a little influenced by the Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Powerbrrrd seemed at least a little influenced by the professional baseball player Brian Wilson, judging by the "Fear the Beard" T-shirt the bassist sported during the Brrrds' set of screachy Weasel-Chunk-ish songs.
Next up were Casa Castile, who we were led to believe were making their debut — a pretty good one at that, considering that people already knew their songs and were singing along. Imagine a guy who looks kind of like a short John Waters fronting a band that sounds like a cross between Blondie and Arling and Cameron, playing songs about getting fucked up on New Year's Eve. Now imagine Ryan Bruce bobbing his head and looking way too much like Charlie Sheen off to the side of the stage. Good times.
Evan P. Donohue did really well in the Scene's best albums of the year poll, and that's probably because he's a sharp songwriter and a really charismatic performer. On this night, he traded in his Buddy Holly specs for some Top Gun ambervision Blublocker type shit, and he looked like a spindly badass sensitive rocker type, which is basically what he is.
Across the street, The Protomen performed the songs of Queen. Can you imagine what that was like? Of course you can. Now imagine it with white suits and the theme song from Flash Gordon, and it's like you were there. We should mention here that the whole night at The End was pretty wild. Let's just say the Belmont vision involves a lot of stage-diving, crowd-surfing and throwing water. Diarrhea Planet played a bunch of songs pretty fast and pretty loud, with some help from former bandmate Evan P. Their set could have accurately been titled "Countdown to 'Ghost With a Boner,' " and ended with "Ghost With a Boner" and a lot of people onstage screaming "ghost with a boner!" and whatever the other words are in that song. With that, we took off in hopes of catching the end of the Trey Deuce show on the East Side, but never made it. The night had other plans for us, as it turned out, but mostly, we were just happy to still have all our teeth.