Live Review: bright weapons, noise toys, gypsters

bright weapons, noise toys, gypsters
jan. 25 • the shakedown

The weekend of Jan. 24 marked a three day concert fundraiser hosted at the Shakedown benefiting the Bellingham Girls Rock Camp, a week long day camp dedicated to empowering girls through music and songwriting. I arrived during the early half of local punks The Gypsters’ set on the second day of the event, delivering a raw and high energy set of horn infused punk. Think Anthem era Less Than Jake. Not necessarily a ska band but still a blast to dance to and I’m assuming played by a bunch of punk kids who probably loved listening to Streetlight Manifesto when they were 14.
After a quick equipment change, local noise-rock band Noise Toys took command of the stage. Musically this band is completely badass, and yes that is a technical term. I refer to them as a noise-rock band because they incorporate so many different sounds in to their music. From the bluesy riffs of the Black Keys to the post hardcore jams of Texas is the Reason to the technical noodling and playfully catchy melodies of ‘90s emo like Cap’n’Jazz. Noise Toys had a surprise around every corner, a refreshing change from the current overly saturated music scene that highlights how beautifully awesome unpredictability can be in a song. The band kicked out a relatively short but absolutely rock out worthy set and they were definitely one of my favorite parts of the night.
The last band of the night were local band Bright Weapons, who delivered an incredibly engaging set of catchy, fast pop punk songs. The element that makes this band interesting isn’t that they don’t have a guitar player (singer, bassist, drummer, keyboards) but that they don’t need guitars to make gritty, fun and fast punk rock. As far as sound goes, they remind me a lot of indie-punk bands like Lemuria and Slingshot Dakoda, fast positive punk rock with a strong female singer with something to say and with the bite to back it. One of the highlights of the set was the opening track to the band’s ep Consent, “Mirror,” which sounds like it could have been an older Get Up Kids song, complete with the accenting synths and thoughtful, sometimes bitter lyrics.
When it comes down to it, Bright Weapons were the perfect band to headline the fundraiser, and all three of the bands are names to look out for if you’re looking for a passionate, fun, energetic show. Bellingham Girls Rock Camp is also always taking donations, for more information on how to get involved you can visit the Make Shift website.
–Sarah Bryant