City of Caterpillar, Planes Mistaken for Stars, All Eyes West 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., Jan. 21, 9 p.m. 2017

Among the wave of screamo bands that emerged in the late 90s and early 2000s few are as influential as City of Caterpillar, which hails from Richmond, Virginia. Granted, that’s a little like saying “most influential feather bowler” to someone with no grasp of recreational sports. Even while rock might occasionally be pitched as a niche concern, screamo is uber-niche—describing the prevalent hail of percussion, serrated swarms of guitars, and garbled and guttural yelps feels like an exercise in the kind of histrionics that screamo is mocked for upholding. But before they burned out in 2003, City of Caterpillar exuded a distinct grasp of atmosphere that’s since propelled more advanced postrock bands and has helped wrap the band in a cocoon of mystery. Take “A Little Change Could Go a Long Ways,” off their 2002 self-titled full-length, its elongated, trembling guitar melody punctuated by terse drumming and an unyielding dread broken by croaked, washboard-rigid screams. Repeater Records reissued City of Caterpillar in the fall, and with it the group reconvened for a smattering of reunion shows, dragging some unreleased material in tow. In November NPR premiered the sprawling “As the Curtains Dim; (Little White Lie),” which had been scrapped from the record because it couldn’t fit on the vinyl. Guitarist-vocalist Brandon Evans remarked about the counterintuitive motions every band that’s been “underappreciated” goes through when reuniting, saying, “We have actualized becoming the ghost.” Let this ghost haunt more than just those of us who know a good obscure “skramz” joke.

Leor Galil

Price: $20, $15 in advance

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