We Love Music: Serena-Maneesh & Woven Hand @ DC9 10/7/10

All photos by author.

Last Thursday night, my prayers were answered when DC9 was visited for the second time in 2010 by Norway’s best entry in the shoegaze genre, Serena-Maneesh. For my money, S-M are hands-down the best band of the nu-gaze movement (shoegaze revival); yet they retain a relative unknown status here in DC. Their set on Thursday night was full of sonic beauty and brutal guitar noise, making the perfect case for why I hold them in such high regard amongst their peers.

Along for the ride was the “opening” act Woven Hand, who are quickly establishing themselves as legendary performers; particularly after a successful stint opening for Tool on the west coast. Woven Hand drew a larger crowd than our Norwegian visitors on Thursday night. I am not entirely surprised by that, but I am a little disappointed that so few people stuck around to sample S-M’s incredible live show.

Both bands put on fiery sets. Woven Hand’s featured thunder-clap, dark Americana fronted by David Eugene Edwards intense, often-disturbing vocal performance. Serena-Maneesh’s focused on textured sonics over vocals as they performed noisy, nightmare versions of their current set list. Visual highlights of the night: watching a sweat-drenched David Edwards’ sitting in his chair, singing into an effects microphone, jabbing his face or hiding his eyes behind his fingers; S-M frontman Emil Nikolaisen bent intently over his guitar, his shawl wrapped completely around his head and shoulders, a big Native American face on his shirt-back staring at us as we come down from S-M’s noise freak-out finale (which featured David Edward’s being head-lock-pulled out of the audience to guest on guitar). It was an evening full of aural visceral thrills that perhaps these photos can better express than words will.*







THE FREAK-OUT! (Featuring Serena Maneesh & David Eugene Edwards)






* I rarely let the photos alone tell the tale – but it just feels right with this one.

Michael splits his free time between defending the little guy and championing the underdog. He has been haunting the concert halls, dive bars, and greasy spoons of DC for the last 16 years. His interests include live rock music, researching obscure military/political conflicts, and good hamburgers. He is a friendly grump, has wisdom beyond his years, and is on a life-long quest to attain music nirvana. Follow him on Twitter if you dare!