Monday, March 14, 2016

craw weekend 2016: It's a wrap

craw at Saint Vitus
Photo: Remi Thornton

The previous post was about my reaction to the craw-centric events of the past few days. All I wrote there applies to my experiences of the Cleveland and NYC shows, which surpassed any and all expectations. (Go here for photo and video evidence.) But I left Saint Vitus last night with a different feeling, call it a community awareness, a sense of how an intense, bizarre and uncompromising underground band can become a portal to a shared feeling of transcendence.

I saw so many fans moved on such a deep level by these performances, both those who had seen the band back in the day and those who never got the chance. I saw band members giddy with disbelief at finally getting the reception they'd always deserved but rarely ever got before. I saw a mutual celebration of the enduring art that craw created, honed and perfected with painstaking effort all those years ago. I saw 75 minutes of classic songs, performed with pure spirit fire and channeled through a frontman who radiates a raving, possessed intensity. I saw sublime musical terror of exactly the sort I remember witnessing when I was a teenager—and all while standing within inches of some of my dearest, oldest KC friends (shouts to Drew, Kyle and Jeff), who saw craw with me the first time around, and my NYC blood brothers, who have loved the band's records for years but hadn't seen them play.

It was all just beyond magical. In particular, I want to thank Drew (a.k.a. Remi Thornton) for coming along for the ride and taking some brilliant pictures; Northern Spy and Aqualamb for all their hard work on the box set; my friends and STATS bandmates Joe and Tony (and constant comrade / special guest Nick) for sharing the stage with me at Saint Vitus; the Great Iron Snake, Murderedman and Black Black Black for their great opening sets; the Grog Shop and Saint Vitus for being such gracious hosts; Esra Y., Ron K., John P. and Georgia Z. for the CLE hospitality; Brad Cohan, Evan Harms and all the other writers who previewed the shows; new friends Patrick W. and Rob H. for their enthusiasm and fellowship; all the kind, gracious fans I met at both shows; and of course Chris, Rockie, Neil, Zak, Dave, Joe and Will for playing (and screaming) their asses off. I also want to thank Torsten Meyer for the following video. (More documentation of both shows coming soon.)

Lastly, I want to thank Pyrrhon vocalist and writer extraordinaire Doug Moore for putting together the below article on the band, a fine piece featuring insightful commentary from craw's Joe McTighe. The piece was slated to run before the shows, but did not go live as planned. I reproduce it here for posterity, and as a complement to the wealth of articles found here.

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