Last week Ceremony played Kings Barcade with a solid set of opening bands. The first to play was Brother Beast, a Raleigh post-hardcore band that has opened for a lot of great nationally touring bands including Prawn, TWIABP, Old Gray, and Hop Along. Wildhoney is a Baltimore fast-tempo shoegaze band that will also be playing Hopscotch later this year. Last to play before Ceremony was Tony Molina. He gets a lot of comparisons to Weezer and Teenage Fanclub, but in the past Tony Molina and his bandmates have played in a lot of hardcore bands, which is strange considering the music they play now. There we a ton of dueling guitar solos and they even ended their set with a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Soldier of Fortune.”
My introduction to Ceremony was through their 2010 album, Rohnert Park. Some fans of the band’s earliest material noticed a departure for the band on that record. The band’s sound was becoming less influenced by powerviolence. They were moving away from their hardcore roots, and five years after the release of Rohnert Park they released The L-Shaped Man which marked a full-departure from their old sound. Now, the material they’re putting out is pretty reminiscent of the source of the band’s name, a Joy Division song. They opened with two songs from their new album to an interested crowd, but the crowd really got rowdy in reaction to the next song they played. Ceremony introduced themselves as a band from Rohnert Park, California. Then, their drummer stared playing the unmistakable top hits of “Sick.” It was one of my favorites of the night, and I was glad that they played some of my other favorite songs from Rohnert Park, “M.C.D.F.” and “Open Head.” They played an old school cover of “Pressure’s On” by the Dischord Records band, Red C, along with a song from Ceremony’s 2006 album, Violence Violence. It was a bit strange hearing their new, post-punk songs in the mix with their older hardcore stuff, but it still worked well. Despite the more mellow sound of their new music, Ceremony still put on a very energetic show. Also, it was cool to see Ross Farrar end the show with a shout out to Brother Beast’s upcoming album, Pregnant God.
-DJ Nasty Nate