Attack on Memory, the 2012 album by Cloud Nothings, is one of those albums I can’t help but listen to front to back each and every time; it is not casual listening or random songs on a playlist material. So you can imagine I was more than delighted to see them play the album in full (and in order which is always my preferred way to see album anniversary shows) during their recent stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg to celebrate the album’s ten year anniversary.
Led by singer/guitarist, Dylan Baldi, the long running outfit had everyone in the room fixed and locked through the duration of the album and through the several other tracks they played, with a healthy selection from 2014’s Here And Nowhere Else and a sprinkling of songs from 2010’s Turning On, 2017’s Life Without Sound and 2021’s The Shadow I Remember. The encore hit me like a one-two punch, the pairing of the buzzsaw bass led “Pattern Walks” and the fervent “I’m Not Part of Me,” washing over me like a warm wave; they are my favorite non AoM songs. But the absolute highlight of the evening was hearing “Wasted Days” played live. The line I THOUGHT I WOULD BE MORE THAN THIS was every bit the emotional knockout I expected it to be and I loved the extended and improvised noisy breakdown in the middle, different and more chaotic than what is on the recorded version.
I would be remiss if I also didn’t give specific praise to drummer Jason Gerycz who is an absolute monster on the kit—and the best kind, the kind that gets it done without flashy bells and whistles or a giant setup, but rather with a three piece kit, one crash cymbal, hi-hats and a killer set of chops. In my opinion, that’s the mark of a truly great drummer, being able to add so much to any given song with a basic setup (Sorry not sorry ghost of Neil Peart). And I loved how they had him positioned out front so he was close to the audience. There is nothing like the sound of some 1970s Vistalites and the tremendous crack of a metal Ludwig snare, you just can’t beat it for high intensity rock n roll. As a fellow drummer, I for sure felt each and every one of Gerycz’s snare hits and hyper drive fills deep in my soul.
The show was opened by Rosali who I unfortunately missed (thanks Manhattan traffic!) and direct support came from Philadelphia based band Speedy Ortiz. Led by Sadie DuPuis (who later took the Paqui hot chip challenge on stage), the high energy outfit was the perfect pairing for Cloud Nothings. And if we’re talking great drummers, I can’t not mention fellow southpaw drummer, Joey Doubek, who is just an absolute spitfire on the kit. I had seen him play with Downtown Boys before but this was my first time seeing Speedy Ortiz (which surprises me just as much, actually) and wow, what a great addition to an already great band.
There can be no Wasted Days when there are rock n roll days and that’s a fact.
Scroll down for setlist, pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos)
Setlist: Attack on Memory- No Future/No Past, Wasted Days, Fall In, Stay Useless, Separation, No Sentiment, Our Plans, Cut You ||| Enter Entirely, A Longer Moon, Now Hear In, Only Light, Psychic Trauma, Modern Act. Encore: Pattern Walks, I’m Not Part of Me, Can’t Stay Awake.