Until last week, I’d only seen and heard a few minutes of live performance by A Place to Bury Strangers, back in 2008 at SXSW. It was a brief encounter in an unlikely setting — the convention center’s day stage — but even that blast of shredding guitar music caused me to write: “Man, those guys were LOUD.” They were LOUD once again when they played March 26 at the Empty Bottle — but it’s a beautiful sort of loud, with waves of electric guitar pouring forth. And all of that majestic noise comes out of just three instruments — guitar, bass and drums. An impressive feat. A Place to Bury Strangers, which has a new EP called Onwards To The Wall, cranked its tunes through banks of pedals and amps amid fog, flashing strobes, and darkness pierced by beams of light: a perfect visual accompaniment.
The March 26 show also featured two strong opening acts: Chicago’s Apteka, who sound better and better each time I see them, and The Big Sleep started out the evening with even more shoegazy goodness.