On Saturday, September 20th, 2014, I went to the Rock & Roll Hotel at about 5pm to catch a free show by the Kentucky punk rock band Coliseum. This was part of the H Street Festival’s festivities, which had the street shut down for the day. Standing in line just to have my ID checked I was a bit worried that the place would be really packed. The sidewalks outside all the bars had little temporary fences that were packed shoulder to shoulder with hipsters drinking cheap beer as they screamed in each others faces trying to talk over each other. I guess drinking on the sidewalk in a pen is really fucking exciting to some people, but I was here to see Coliseum, a great band I’d seen play a sold out DC9 show with Pelican last November. I had no problem making my way to the front as the main show room was almost empty, except for the people in line to talk to the bartenders. The place did fill up, somewhat, when they started playing. They played for about 45 minutes and their set included a few new songs. It was a lot of fun and you can’t complain about seeing a great band for free. There were several other bands playing that day but after Coliseum played I headed over to Little Miss Whiskey’s to talk to the DC Brau folks (always a fun time).
Later the same night I grabbed dinner and then picked up a six pack (which turned into a 4 pack due to the cardboard handle breaking in the parking lot of the store I had just bought it at) and I went to another show. This was a house show at a place called the Dougout in Northeast DC. I’d never been there before but it was pretty nice for a house venue, especially one that was hosting grind bands. I missed local death/grind band Genocide Pact, which sucks cause they’re good, but I’m sure I’ll get the chance to see them again at least. The first band I did see was Nervous Mothers, a powerviolence band all the way from Belgium. I’m not sure how it’s financially possible to fly all the way over from Europe to play a bunch of gigs in basements but they actually were pretty good. However next up was the band I really came to see, Cloud Rat. The grind trio is from Michigan and they released Moksha, one of my favorite grind albums of 2013 (click the name to give it a listen). They combine brutal riffs and sheer intensity perfectly and their frontwoman, Madison Marshall, has a voice that just drips frustration. In all it was a really great show at a cool DIY venue, I hope they get some more brutal bands there in the future.
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