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Titus Andronicus, Control Top, bring the noise to Fine Line

Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus

On a quiet Monday at the Fine Line in Minneapolis, I was excited to catch a punk show. Titus Andronicus and Control Top were billed for the night. Control Top started off with a bang. The three-piece post-punk band out of Philly took the stage. They recently released a new album, Covert Contracts, in the spring. 

Control Top Fine Line Minneapolis
Control Top by Alex Kohnstamm

The band is led by Ali (vocals, bass), paired with Al (guitar, backing vocals). In matching red suits, they get right to work with Alex (drums) and don’t look back. The Fine Line is still pretty open, space-wise. The crowd maintains a safe distance from the stage, which is a new thing in my experience here. Usually, people get right up there. 

Control Top Fine Line Minneapolis
Control Top by Alex Kohnstamm

I quickly realize that Ali is not wearing a shirt underneath her red jacket and has chosen, in lieu of a shirt, to wear carefully placed tape— extra punk. 

Control Top Fine Line Minneapolis
Control Top by Alex Kohnstamm

Their songs are simple with great rhythm, heavy bass, and lo-fi vocals. For instance, halfway through their set, they have a song called “Straight Jackets”, and the chorus is pretty much the lead singer yelling ‘straight jackets’ at the audience. This was after Ali explained that her favorite shirt in their new merch says “Eat Shit”… “Because don’t we all?” she explained. Very raw performance, I dig it.

Control Top Fine Line Minneapolis
Control Top by Alex Kohnstamm

They make good noise; the crowd is getting amped up. The crowd starts to move closer to the stage after Ali jumps into the crowd to get the people going. A definite highlight is when Ali puts her bass down and really goes for the vocals. Tonight is all about high energy, and they do not disappoint.

Control Top Fine Line Minneapolis
Control Top by Alex Kohnstamm

They did a great job of getting the crowd ready for Titus Andronicus.

Titus Andronicus Fine Line Minneapolis
Titus Andronicus by Alex Kohnstamm

Titus Andronicus also recently released an album, An Obelisk (Without an Audience), back in June. Titus Andronicus is a five-piece punk band from New Jersey led by Patrick (vocals, guitar), backed up by Liam (rhythm guitar), R.J. (bass), and Chris (drums).

Titus Andronicus Fine Line Minneapolis
Titus Andronicus by Alex Kohnstamm

Patrick takes the stage. He starts off by saying the tour has had some troubles. He mentions their tour van has a warped rotor, saying he’s never heard of such a thing (the crowd boo’d the mechanics). He quickly tunes his guitar and gets into a couple songs solo.

Titus Andronicus Fine Line Minneapolis
Titus Andronicus by Alex Kohnstamm

Patrick is very personable, funny, and the crowd adores him. He takes a moment every few songs to address the audience. He makes great use of the stage. The mix sounds really good. It is incredibly difficult to pull off a clean mix in the heavier rock/punk genre. Where Titus has more clear vocals hovering above the music, Control Top has a dirtier, lo-fi sound to capture their energy. 

Titus Andronicus Fine Line Minneapolis
Titus Andronicus by Alex Kohnstamm

Titus threw in some music off of their older albums, like “Local Businesses,” which Patrick says hasn’t been done in a few years. They did a great mix of punk rock, and changed it up a bit to some classic sounding heartland rock. 

Titus Andronicus Fine Line Minneapolis
Titus Andronicus by Alex Kohnstamm

Titus, like Control Top, brought the noise, and damn did it sound good. Check out both of their albums if you need something to get you amped up and like punk rock. 

Set List:

  • To Old Friends and New
  • Just Like Ringing a Bell
  • Troubleman Unlimited
  • Fatal Flaw
  • Ecce Homo
  • Still Life with Hot Deuce on Silver Platter
  • Above the Bodega (Local Business)
  • Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ
  • On the Street
  • (I Blame) Society
  • Fired Up
  • Dimed Out
  • Tumult Around the World
  • The Battle of Hampton Roads
  • A More Perfect Union
  • Titus Andronicus Forever

ENCORE

  • Titus Andronicus
Alex Kohnstamm
Author: Alex Kohnstamm

Written by Alex Kohnstamm

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