San Francisco’s Independent was packed with the feverishly dedicated fans of the one and only Two Gallants for night-two of the duo’s double-bill at the venue. I say “dedicated” because the band has not released any new material since 2007 and as far as I’m concerned, hasn’t had much of an impact on the folk scene since 2004’s The Throes. What I seemingly forgot was, this is a San Francisco-based act and when a band comes home, they get their everlasting support, especially when it’s a band as talented as these two.
Opening for the second night was garage rock / early grunge influenced band WATERS. The band’s name is spelt in all Caps and while that may be annoying to the reader, it’s a perfect representation of the music they play, loud and in-your-face. The group consisted of Port O’Brien past members Van Pierszalowski and Caleb Nichols. Don’t be fooled though, this sounded nothing like Port O’Brien. The music was noisy, fast paced, and very enjoyable. Pierszalowski has taken on an almost Kobain-esqe appearance complete with flannel button down and draping hair that whips around as he thrashes across the stage during specific moments during a high energy song.
WATERS played mostly off their debut album, Out in the Light while fitting in one new song that I failed to get the name of. During the song Mickey Mantle, Pierszalowski requested some crowd participation for the FOREVER! FOREVER! chorus portion of the song, which was a bit ballsy considering no one really knew the band’s work except for a peppered few. But it worked and I found myself yelling along and getting even more hyped for their single, For The One. Oh and one guy in particular wasn’t too fond of them and began heckling the band around midset. But before I or anyone else could tell him to shut up, his girlfriend quickly tore him a new asshole right in front of everyone willing to pay attention. Another highlight of an already awesome evening.
The men themselves, Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel performed a fighting and fun hour-plus long set with plenty from their three album discography and exciting addition of some new material. The folksy drunkenness that fans love so much was comfortably present as fans sang along to Nothing To You and Steady Rollin’. Two Gallants possess a welcoming vibe to their live performances, one that calls you to join in with their raging abandon and arm-swinging anthems. It also helps that the band has an enthusiastic following that belt out every word like a room full of Irish drunks mourning the loss of a close friend.
Eventually Vogel departed the comfort of his drum kit to perform with a harmonica-strapped Stephans for a new track entitled Broken Eyes. Both members sang into the same microphone and harmonized in a sweet and brotherly fashion that brought a raging crowd to a somber low. But that was quickly squashed when the encore blasted into Seems Like Home To Me and crowd favorite, Long Summers Day. All in all, Two Gallants are as entertaining as ever and with the passion they posses with these new tracks, it’s going to be a good year when those songs are made available on record.