Thee Oh Sees’ concert Saturday, second of two nights at the Teragram Ballroom, was held as a benefit for the Animal Welfare Institute. The band helmed by John Dwyer took the stage and were quick to begin melting their audience, body and mind. They opened their 11-song set with “I Come From The Mountain” from 2013’s “Floating Coffin.”
Although Thee Oh Sees have experienced a myriad of lineup and name changes, the current incarnation seems solid as a rock. Dwyer, along with tandem drummers Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon and bassist Tim Hellman, brought a psychedelia-infused punk to an immediately unhinged crowd. As usual, it was the swirling center of the ballroom that brought the most punk, and the edges that brought the garage-psych. One thing that is both unique and disorienting about Thee Oh Sees is how they keep their listeners wondering, “Are we supposed to mosh or are we supposed to unravel into the cosmic sonic stratosphere?” Some were clearly trying to do both.
Their set was rife with long numbers – drawn out psychedelic noise entwined in Dwyer’s screeches and howls. Watching the two drummers was hypnotic as they lead a double-barreled attack while legs flailed above the heads. Through the distortion and the fuzz, it was clear that Dwyer and Co. are an overdriven bunch, ready to power through their obvious thrashers and not-so-obvious ballads. Whatever the band does next (and even if the lineup changes again), Dwyer’s manic guitar work will always serve to keep his fans following him on any shredded detour.
Photos by Michelle Shiers Photography