I showed up at the gates of Fordham University to be greeted by a security officer asking for my school ID, to which I told her I was here for the Titus Andronicus show. She then called a higher-up to confirm there was actually a concert being held that night; believe me, only the first of a line of administrative interference in was to be a great night of music. I soon arrived at Rodrigue's Coffee House where I was told that the show had been moved to O'Keefe, a commons area across campus, because administration thought codes would have been violated at the modestly-sized coffee house since the show had grown into something larger than expected. I then trekked across campus with the group hosting the event, sharing thoughts on school-hosted concerts and the red tape that can come along with it.
The first two bands were New Jersey natives, beginning with the frantic and fun-loving Average Girl. With humorous lyrics and a good energy to boot, I thought they had a good set to start out the evening. After Average Girl was the surf-inspired Static Jacks, who had a great sound but I wasn't too keen on the sound of the vocals; just sounded too deep for the style of music. Other than that, I thought they also put on a good show. Following the NJ-grown talent was Brooklyn's own super-group, the Babies. Having seen them a few months earlier at the Cake Shop, I knew what to expect from their live set; I very much enjoy their music and I think the crowd at Fordham did as well. Despite the good performances up to this point, everybody was here for Titus Andronicus, myself included, and we all eagerly awaited the New Jersey quintet to take the stage (or lack thereof).
It was evident the energy-level of the one to two hundred in attendance was overflowing and ready to burst by time Titus geared up their instruments; imagine the craziness that ensued when they played their opening notes. Titus shows are known for their intensity and fun-loving atmosphere, something the administration did not get when they saw the crowd dancing wildly. Within moments, administrators and security were trying to push the crowd back with little success; Patrick (vocals, guitar) tried to convince the administration that the kids are only expressing themselves and are there to have a fun time. After one more song, in which Patrick invited everybody closer, the security then brought two barricades, separating the students from the band. The band was not pleased, telling the suits that "these kids are not animals". After a brief conversation between Patrick and security, it was obvious they were not going to bend; so the band and crowd just made the best of it.
Outside of the annoyances of the staff, the show was fantastic. The music spoke for itself and it's hard to deny that Titus is one of the top bands in indie music right now. And with their high-octane live shows, they are definitely one of the bands you don't want to miss when they come to your city. With a mix of songs from The Airing of Grievances and their latest release, The Monitor, the show was fast and furious with the occasional subdued interlude. My favorite moment was when the band jumped into "Fear and Loathing In Mahwah, NJ", the opening track to Grievances and one of the great 'fuck you' songs out there; Patrick then spoke of how his Mom, ironically a Fordham graduate, taught him to always express his feelings. Thanks Mom. And, as they say, all good things must come to an end; unfortunately, the administration cut the set short as the bell struck midnight and curfew had been reached. Oh well. The time Titus had to perform far exceeded any time taken away from them. Trust me, they are a must-see band.
Titus Andronicus @ Fordham University Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 3:56:00 PM Rating: