If you were at the sold out Quasi and Bat Fangs show at TV Eye this past Thursday, March 16th, there is a 100% chance that you absolutely got your face rocked off. With both bands bringing a unique set of bold sounds, audience members had the pleasure of getting to witness legendary Quasi drummer Janet Weiss deliver thunderously precise beats with band mate Sam Coomes getting funky on a variety of electronic instruments (including keyboards hooked up to guitar pedals) while Bat Fangs commanded plenty of head bangs with no shortage of shreds.
This also marked the first NYC show in several years for Quasi and considering what Weiss has been through over the past four years, a sort of reclamation of her power as a remarkable and iconic musician. In 2019, Weiss left Sleater-Kinney after 24 years due to no longer being considered a creative equal during the recording of their ninth studio album, The Center Won’t Hold. Less than two months later, she was seriously injured after being in a car crash in her Portland, OR neighborhood. And of course in 2020, the entire world ground to a halt during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Seeing her behind the kit again was nothing short of incredible as she and Coomes powered through 90 minutes of material from over 20 years of albums.
Janet Weiss of Quasi at TV Eye
Quasi’s 22 song set list included tracks off Featuring “Birds” (1998), Field Studies (1999), Sword of God (2001), When the Going Gets Dark (2006), Mole City (2013), as well as their most recent release, Breaking the Balls of History (read our review). While Coomes and Weiss stuck mostly to performing, they did provide a little stage banter, including some self-deprecating remarks from Coomes who claimed he wasn’t much of a funny guy.
The weight of Weiss’ influence could be felt before and after the show—as I enjoyed some pre-show tofu banh mi nearby, I overheard someone chatting about how excited they were to see their favorite drummer. After the show, I met a couple from Australia that followed Quasi around several of their East Coast dates. And after waiting more than an hour after the show and making some new friends at the venue, I got to meet Weiss myself, who kindly signed the drum sticks I’ve had since high school when I was on drum line.
North Carolina/DC based rock n’roll outfit, Bat Fangs, made an ideal opener as they complemented Quasi’s indie sensibilities with an 80’s hard rock flare. Lead singer/guitarist Betsy Wright and drummer Laura King also provided plenty of powerful beats and certainly commanded the room’s attention with their set of energetic tunes.
We are so glad that Quasi is back in touring action, and that Bat Fangs shared the bill with them. You definitely should not miss either band when they come to your town and you can rest assured that we will be catching them again as soon as we can.
Scroll down for setlist, pics of the show (photos by Amanda Meth)
Setlist: Queen of Ears, California, Rotten Wrock, I Never Want to See You Again, See You on Mars, Under a Cloud, Shitty Is Pretty, The Rhino, Do You Love Me Now? (Breeders Cover), You Fucked Yourself, Seal the Deal, Death Culture Blues, Doomscrollers Encore: Our Happiness Is Guaranteed, The Happy Prole, It’s Raining, Riots & Jokes
Check out our feature on Two Piece Bands We Love which featured Quasi and 27 other bands.