If Shellac isn’t my favorite current live act, they’re certainly pretty damn close to it. The problem is that they rarely tour, prefer weird venues, and almost never hit the South. Over the past 10 years, I’ve traveled to Chicago to see them play in a rainy parking lot, to the Catskills to see them perform in a waaay past its prime super weird Dirty Dancing/The Shining hybrid resort, and to Asbury Park to see the trio play a bowling alley. So, when they announced they were coming to Atlanta, it was a no-brainer to set an alarm on my phone to buy tickets as soon as they went on sale. Last time they played the city, they performed at The Clermont Lounge (seriously), this time we were headed to The Mammal Gallery.
We bailed work early on the Friday before Halloween, made the mind numbing drive to the ATL, checked into the hotel, got kinda drunk at the Mexican joint next door and Ubered to the show. They weren’t letting people into the venue yet, but, lo and behold, there was a bar upstairs! Okay, here’s where we made a tactical error. Unbeknownst to us, while we were getting slightly drunker upstairs, a pretty damn sizable line was forming outside on the street. Once we made it inside, we worked our way forward as far as possible without being dicks about it. The Mammal Gallery was packed to its sweaty gills.
Shannon Wright opened with a thoroughly enjoyable set of raw, noisy rock, starting as a guitar/drums duo and then joined on bass by Shellac’s Bob Weston. Shellac was unsurprisingly great. They play their singular, spare, noise rock with such power and precision it’s insane. Their signature question and answer crowd interaction while members were tuning was also hilarious, as it always is. Great, great, night. Set spanned their catalog and included Wingwalker, A Prayer to God, Canada, Copper, The End of Radio, My Black Ass, Crow, Steady as She Goes, and….uhhh, did I mention I was drunk?
Pictures are kind of samey, because it was basically impossible to move around, but here you go.