When the local-chella shows were announced, two bands stood out. Iceage and Shame are both known for their rambunctious output and their electric live shows, so seeing them on the same bill at the Casbah, it was bound to be a stellar show.
Shame’s debut record Songs of Praise is an edgy post-punk album that bursted onto the scene in 2018, recalling the origins of the genre and giving it a fresh fervor. Their set heavily featured the debut while treating fans to unreleased material that seemed to have a more polished sound while keeping the raw gritty nature of their music. Although expecting Shame to be a fun show, the intensity was surprising. Frontman Charlie Steen and the rest of the band pack the most energy humanly possible to extrude in a hour long set. With the band members being just 21 years old and new to playing packed venues, Shame showed the confidence and stage presence of seasoned performers.
After seeing frontman and main songwriter Elias Bender Rønnenfelt smoke a pack of cigarettes and down numerous Tecates before going on stage, I knew that leaving Iceage to close out the night was going to be the correct move. Drunken swagger characterizes Rønnenfelt’s on-stage persona and giving him more time to indulge only enhanced that. He is an amalgamation of Julian Casablancas and Nick Cave, with his greasy-haven’t showered in weeks hair, nonchalant attitude, and classy getup. His presence can only be described as being elegantly reckless. Their set consisted of songs from their discography but leaned more towards their most recent sultry punk record Beyondless . While the crowd thinned out a little, Iceage’s show kept the high octane intensity rolling while showcasing their more mature attitude towards the punk genre.
With the financial constraints placed upon touring musicians in today’s landscape the frontman is not as prevalent as it used to be, but both these bands showed that the art-form, when done well, is still an incredible thing and can take a show to great heights. Although I had big expectations for this bill, it went above and beyond and set the bar really high for the show to be topped this year.