Playing with expectations by uncdiversions

Club Is Open Festival Night 2

Hammer No More The Fingers – Players – July 8

Wednesday shows usually go into the very low-pressure category. it’s the working week, so some pretty good tunes, a tasty pint and a fun time with friends is really all most people are looking for. This show was different. For one thing, it was the second day of the Club Is Open Festival and hence had to bear the burden of being part of one of the best, most consistent weeks in Chapel Hill for local shows. But even more consequential than this was the fact that this was the first rock show to hit Players in 19 years. The last time the newly re-opened festival housed a band it was Spartanburg, S.C.’s Hootie and the Blowfish. I’m going to assume this was better.

Though nerves were often apparent, and the newly installed sound system had some problems catching up, the three power-trios who hit the stage last night made sure it was a spectacle worthy of the occasion. It was a family affair with the wise guidance of the Pneurotics well-traveled, well-crafted rock laying it down in fatherly fashion before the two younger bands, all of whom are great friends. Pink Flag was no slouch as it ripped through a frenetic rendition of its spunky punk as it played kid sister.

Throughout the first two sets there were many instances of the bands playing together, fleshing out arrangements tastefully. But it was big brother who brought the house down, and there was nothing tasteful about it. Whether out of experience or some zen-like slackerdom, Hammer No More The Fingers hit with a fury that gave no thought to the notion that this venture might fail. The cameo from J-Me Guptil of Tooth didn’t hurt things. But it was the culminating “Vodka Grasshopper,” boasting two drummers that made the night. The band’s final number was the kind of performance that made too much seem just right.

But perhaps the best thing was the sight of the dance floor afterwards with local music stalwarts dancing their tails to Miley Cyrus, right beside Players regulars. The club was indeed open and in a way it had probably never been before.

Click below for more photos.

The Pneurotics

Pink Flag

Hammer No More The Fingers

– Words and photos by Jordan Lawrence


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