Words & Images By Guest Photographer: Rae Blaiyr
Walking into the small Studio venue, I had a vague idea as to what was coming. Months ago while on my Spotify Discover playlist, ‘Lullaby’ by headliners Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes appeared—and after listening became a staple in my music library. The song was heavy, hard,but also crafted in such a way to keep you hooked, which then allowed it to stick out from the rock music pool. My review of the song aside, I came into the show not only anticipating to hear the song live but to hear other similar acts—to which I was pleasantly surprised that the latter was not the case.
The first act, Royal Republic, was a dapperly dressed act hailing from Sweden; whose music seemed to take from that of the classics, in addition to modern Rockabilly tastes. These influences meshed effortlessly with their progressive sound, reminiscing anthem-like dance-rock that was well received by the audience. Royal Republic undoubtedly magnetized the audience with a dynamic stage presence and unique sound that deserves more recognition outside of Europe.
Dinosaur Pile-Up followed, and immediately I was transported back to the grunge scene of the 90’s. The trio, led by a shaggy-haired front-man, Matt Bigland, preformed heavy, growling numbers with an organic angst and energy deserving of the content. Originally from Leeds UK, the group clearly has been making their mark across the pond, as fans were pressed against the stage singing back lyrics. This is of course not a shock as the headliners too are of the UK rock scene, but as the lesser-known openers, these passionate fans helped aid in the powerful energy for a group ready for even bigger success worldwide.
Anticipation rose in the packed studio moments before Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes took the stage in support of their new album Modern Ruin—and that energy erupted as the band broke out into their opening song. Frank Carter (of Gallows and Pure Love Fame) embodied everything that a hard rock performance should have. There were this anger and passion with every word sang with the sharp force of a snake’s tongue. Though in a suit he did not hesitate to dive into the crowd, singing above his fans as they chanted his name, surf above them, and constantly connect with the audience as he preformed. There was something about him, and his passion for his performance, that most definitely explained the almost cult-like worship of the crowd around him; the man built his fame for a reason, and I now know first hand his live performance is a large part of it. My favourite moments (other than of course hearing ‘Lullaby’ live) was when Frank encouraged an all females to stage dive/crowd surf during a song—as he’s stressed respecting all women in and outside of the rock-show setting, and when he opened a circle pit wrapping around the bar as they broke into a real punk anthem. Even from the sidelines I felt the energy first hand and left the show wishing it didn’t end.
The Studio at Webster Hall brought to the table that night an wide selection of passionate rock acts—ranging from dance-y, to angsty, to outright angry, and I loved every moment of it. Each set brought something new to the table, and sounds that didn’t want to ‘fit’ a genre, but rather, merely exist in their own. Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes put on an incredible show, impacting this new fan, while most definitely securing their legions. If you have a chance to see them live, don’t miss it—in return, you’ll get a high-energy night inspiring you to listen to their full discography and break out your old Doc Martins.
Last modified: May 23, 2017