THEE OH SEES POUND THE STAGE AT WARSAW

Words & Photos by Doug Dresher

October 1, 2021

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I do not know how Thee Oh Sees can play more than one show a week. The energy that John Dwyer (specifically) and the rest of the band has is immeasurably unabashed. One could suppose that some of that energy comes from the crowd. The audience at Warsaw knew all of the songs and sang back to the band with the same power.


Frenetic and loud - this band rocks. The audience reciprocates with a full-out mosh pit with the kind of crowd surfing one would expect. And I loved every second of it.

This is the second time I have seen Thee Oh Sees at Warsaw in Brooklyn, NY. The security in the club is always polite and kind to the audience. This is especially so as the well-intoxicated crowd surfers fall over the top into the waiting arms of the photo pit security. Dropping from the front of the crowd, security plucks them out, sets them down, and then the crowd-surfer jumps back into the sea of "pogo-ing" screaming fans.


There is something primal about Thee Oh Sees having the two drummers. Much like the sound of the Butthole Surfers when they had two drummers, Thee Oh Sees drummers weave a near-perfect syncopation which is much more than the sound of two drummers – it’s more like a drum line of post-punk drummers playing all out and without regard of their safety.

Their music, loud and fast, could be a great soundtrack to a group in a whirling dervish of possessed dancers. They have lost their minds and are all enjoying a communal hallucination. There is no crowd so singularly focused as the audience at Thee Oh sees show.


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Born from an existential argument between the modernists and postmodernists, I have found my home with the post-punks and those who love a good slice of pizza. I live in a world of art in the age of mechanical reproduction and the ever-elusive decisive moment. Punctum and Stadium aside, I like to take photographs of people and things to see how they look photographed. While I miss CBGBs, I think Asbury Park is as close as we are ever going to get to making punk whatever we make it to be. The future is unwritten and I owe it all to Mr. Bradley and Mr. Martin. Let us now praise famous men and ask the little prince for his thoughts. Sometimes I'm on the road, but If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk. My loving wife supports this albatross of an obsession and my kids put up with me well. BA, MFA, M.Ed., BCEA, Tri-X, and Nikon.

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