Last week’s show at Saint Vitus was absolutely insane. Bands Chat Pile, Scarcity, and Psychic Graveyard all tore down the house with the kind of ground-shaking energy that makes the venue great.
Earlier this year I saw Chat Pile would be touring near me for the first time and I was psyched. A friend introduced me to their Remove Your Skin Please EP in 2019 and I remember thinking, “what is this witchcraft and where can I find more?” Lucky for me, the answer was Saint Vitus.
Psychic Graveyard opened up the show, playing to a New York crowd for the first time since the pandemic. Coming from Rhode Island, they brought in the noise rock sound that Providence is known for. Their set was brash, unorthodox, and borderline hallucinogenic. At one point they played a song that sounded like a fun house collapsing in on itself in the best way. It was unexpected on my end and lovely in some twisted kind of way.
Following the first opener was Scarcity, an experimental black metal band from NYC. Their music was much darker, slower, and more serious. They brought sheet music to stage for what they said would be “one 45-minute song”—in other words, their entire new album, Aveilut. The Spotify algorithm would probably turn in its grave at that duration, but if Sleep can put out a 63-minute song, why not go for a quick 45? The crowd was there for it and the group delivered a dynamic performance from start to finish.
According to the band, the album is about the members’ experience with death amid the COVID-19 pandemic – living in such close proximity to it in New York, seeing the number of deaths climb every day, and feeling a depth of pain like no other. You can feel their dedication to expressing this shared experience through their music. If you want to see their Saint Vitus set in its entirety, you can watch below.
After the energetic highs and grief-stricken lows from the opening bands, the audience was excited to see Chat Pile. People packed into every crevice of Saint Vitus to see them for their second sold out show in the city. I asked the band before the show how it felt to sell out such a legendary venue twice in a row and they said it was surreal. They’ve only been together since 2019 and have risen in popularity throughout the pandemic. As a fan, it’s really rewarding to see them gain traction in an increasingly tough industry.
Chat Pile’s set was everything I had hoped for—aggressively catchy riffs, an ambling portrayal of madness, and a truly dedicated fan base to share the moment with. Singer Raygun Busch stomped around stage barefoot with the stupor of an unhinged Frankenstein and yelled like a disgruntled man begging for his life. At one point Busch laid face-down on the stage, the perfect pose to end a Chat Pile song. Then he got up and talked to the crowd about movies made in New York. Their guitarist wore a Gummo hat, too. The band is full of cinephiles and I love how they share that with their fans.
During their set they played some of their most powerful songs like “Slaughterhouse” and “Why.” a song about the absurdity of homelessness in a world full of homes. They even did an encore with “grimace_smoking_weed.jpg”, a comical tune influenced by Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin among other cult classics.
If it were up to me, I’d see Chat Pile again the next night, but they had to head home to the great state of Oklahoma. They left New York with amazing experiences and I can’t wait to see them back in the city one day.
If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out their newest album, God’s Country. Spoiler alert: don’t play it at church.
Scroll down for vids and pics of the show (photos by Juliette Boulay)