Garage League’s Release Show

Although it went down more than two months ago, I keep thinking back at how special this night was. *cue the Wayne’s World dream sequence* Garage League released their debut full length album Dance, Humans and had a party at the venerable and aromatic 222 Ormsby on 10/14/23. They filled out the evening with an incredible, musically diverse line up, with the only commonality being that each band consisted of only 3 members.

Starting the night was Muk Muk and the Kewks in their live debut, playing a jumpy blend of fast and mid tempo hardcore with some beautiful dissonance and tasty breakdowns. Next up was Airbrake, who’s music I have dubbed noisy soul wave. The beauty of Airbrake lies in the almost constant tension between guitar, keys, and vocals, constantly urgent yet wrapped in a haunting groove so tight that you have no choice but to close your eyes, bob your head, and drift away.

The last band before the main event was the always impressive The Richard Move – who’s sound is built upon a foundation of driving bass, relentless drumming, and a guitar that bounces back and forth between Ramones-esque down strokes and airy sci-fi sounding licks at the drop of a hat. The cherry on top being the sometimes intense, sometimes sweet vocals painting pictures of frustration and angst and the search for just a few moments of peace.

Closing out the night and celebrating the release of their new album Dance, Humans was Garage League. From the first note, their signature and almost impossible blend of Devo post-punk, Dead Kennedys surf punk, and new wave à la Fred Schneider was on point and without deviation throughout the entire set.

The constant interplay between guitar and bass is something that must be experienced live to truly appreciate. How delicately the tones are balanced in the incredibly short bursts of intensity that make up the Garage League lexicon cannot be understated. Built upon the impeccably angular drum grooves, that seem to effortlessly explode one after another, they blazed through, in my estimation, 25 songs in their 45 minute set. Their set lists look like essays. The entire time that their music filled the space at 222 – I wavered back and forth between intently watching the stage, and closing my eyes to dance and letting the sound swirl around me. But the thing that really stood out to me was that at one point in the night, I turned to look at the crowd around me and I notice that I was surrounded by people watching this amazing performance dancing, with smiles plastered on their faces. None were forced, all were a show of pure joy as we watched this incredible trio usher their creation into the world.

Chuck Veri is a writer for PA and Find Out and has been playing in PGH bands since before Jesus was born. Currently fronting ska legends, Inco Fido, his music will wiggle into your earholes without prejudice. Most of his friends will tell you that he’s one of the nicest people to ever get them kicked out of a strip club.

1 thought on “Garage League’s Release Show”

  1. Great review! Made me wish I could have been there! I have seen Garage League several times and you described their style spot on. I cant wait to check out all the other bands that were there as well. Cheers!

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