Originally set to take place at Queens’ Trans-Pecos, indie rock supergroup Antarctigo Vespucci brought their show to Brooklyn’s Villain, a much larger event space that has since taken over the majority of Market Hotel shows. Spearheaded by Jeff Rosenstock (Jeff Rosenstock/ formerly of Bomb the Music Industry!) and Chris Farren (Fake Problems/Chris Farren) the Initially, the show had Ian Graham from Cheap Girls performing a solo set, but was quickly removed from the bill once allegations of abuse and “predatory” behavior surfaced.
UPDATE: This review has been revised to change inaccuracies
Opening the show was the fast-paced punk group Weird Skin. With their sensibilities to melodies and composing interesting, if not well-treaded musical territory, it’s difficult to pinpoint any concrete info about the group with almost zero online presence.
As her first of two shows of the night (the next, headlining at the nearby Brooklyn Bazaar), rapper Sammus brought her intense set to a primarily punk-leaning show. Performing her tracks self-released off her NuBlack record label, she played more off of her most recent album “Pieces in Space” off of Don Giovanni Records. It was enthralling to see the Ithaca rapper invested emotionally into each phrase and syllable, so much so that the cracking in her voice and immense strength to hold back tears made the show all that much powerful. “I’m giving my all up here, and I just want y’all to give it back” she stated, staking her claim within a primarily white space to be unabashedly raw and cathartic. With subject material reflecting her identity as a multi-faceted individual, being an African-American woman in academia. As both a professor at NYU teaching “Science and Pseudoscience”, while currently working on her PhD at Cornell, it’s far too reductionist to dismiss her references to video games as “nerdcore.” From transforming into the Metroid character Samus, to leaping into the crowd during “Lovesong,” Sammus made her impact.
Lead by Lauren Denitzio (they/them), Brooklyn quartet Worriers spent the past year touring with The Smith Street Band and playing The Fest in support of their 2015 record “Imaginary Life.” While their usual band features Lou Hanman of RVIVR on guitar and Mikey Erg of The Ergs on drums, both artists were replaced by Alex Clute of Hiccup and JP Flexner formerly of Beach Slang. The musicians’ credibility were well on display, performing the intricate parts with ease. With an infectious brand of melodic punk, the band combines broader, political themes like “Yes, All Cops” and “They/Them/Theirs” with personal material on “Chasing” and “Good Luck,” evidenced on stage by Denitzio reiterating the importance of calling out people at shows and in certain scenes who are potentially harmful.
Starting off with the subdued “100 Years” with Farren and Rosenstock performing as a duo, off their debut release “Soulmate Stuff.” Launching into “Impossible to Place” with intense hairflips, Antarctigo Vespucci brought a raucous set to the stage. Backed by Jeff’s long-time bassist John DeDomenici and drummer Benny Horowitz who plays on the records, the group felt as tight as ever, with their only other show this year at The Fest in Chris Farren’s home state of Florida. Loaded with punk rock theatrics and a rigid stage presence, the show was solid between the gang-style vocal sections, the “rare Antarctigo Vespucci mosh pit” and Farren’s unnecessarily long microphone cable coming in handy as he jumped into the crowd during the encore of “Come to Brazil.”