Today was the first time I witnessed Jay Reatard live in action. Some of you Indie Ear bloggers may recognize him as the man that took out #2 seed Mars Volta in this year’s Indie Ear Madness tournament. I told you then and I’m telling you now, the kid is a prime time player, baby!
(left: Hell yes! A flying-V bass and a flying-V guitar!)
Though early afternoon festival performances are sometimes a snooze, Jay Reatard and crew (Billy Hayes and Buzz Melvin look-a-like, Stephen Pope) brought their bouncy-garage-punk to Chicago and even managed to whip up a little mosh pit–the first I’ve seen at Pitchfork this weekend.
Jay Reatard sounds like every great punk band you’ve ever heard–hold up–I’m not giving him the Ramones stamp of approval just yet, but wherever he’s plucking his influences from (consciously or subconsciously), he’s looking in all the right places.
Jay’s brand of punk is Warped Tour ready–if those kids got a taste, they’d be fans for life. It also makes sense why Jay gets love in the indie world, as his punk is just cerebral enough for people to sniff out hints of the Talking Heads and Television.
My favorite song of his set was actually the short-but-sweet, “Greed, Money, Useless Children.” What can I say? I’m a sucker for short punk rock ditties with clever song titles.