Three bands played Varsity Theater on Tuesday night, but while that all brought the rock, and loud was the theme of the night, they each had something different to put together a great show.
The headliners, Failure, have an interesting story.  Releasing a few albums in the 90’s, the broke up after their most successful album Fantastic Planet.  They played their biggest radio hit “Stuck on You” in the middle of their 75 minute set.  They got back together in 2014 with the album “The Heart Is a Monster”, and released “In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind” last year.
They were practiced and tight for sure, opening with Solar Eyes from the last album, and lead into a technical onslaught.  The mostly full Varsity enjoyed the show, nodding along with highlights Another Space Song, Heavy and Blind, and A.M. Amnesia.   Another curious thing I noticed is lead singer Ken Andrews and guitarist/keyboards Greg Edwards, were both bass players.   Every few songs one would have a guitar, the other would have a bass, and then switch again in another couple songs.  Not something you normally see in a rock band.
While Failure was a pairing knife, Swervedriver in the middle of the night was a sledgehammer.  Coming out with Mary Winter, their opening on their 2019 album “Future Ruins”, it was loud and sludgy!   I talked to more than a couple people at the show who were their to see Swervedriver instead of the headliner, and they got a set near the same amount of time.  I really enjoyed Maelstrom and I Wonder back to back, and Duel at the end was fun, turned into a ten minute riff.  A great pounding set.
Openers No Win played to a few dozen people, mostly because they started at 7:30 with an announced 8pm show time.  Those who saw then should be impressed.  They had a heavy pop sound in the Weezer/Green Day sound, and looked like they were having a lot of fun.   They released a new album “Downey” about a month ago, and I’ve given that a couple listens since the show and recommend that too!
Review and photo by Brian Curski