Pi Lam’s Human BBQ XXXV went off without a hitch this Saturday, as 18 bands rocked the Spruce Street house from noon ‘til midnight. Hundreds turned out to catch the stacked line-up, eat burgers, and dance their faces off, and nearly all left satiated and content. Or as they say at Pilam—BBQ’ed.
I arrived around 2 p.m. to catch poppy up-and-comers Cold Fronts, whose feel-good party rockers enlivened the early crowd. Next up on the main stage: Brooklyn longhairs Plates of Cakes, whose strum-y guitar jams felt folksy and earnest—and fellow Brooklynites Radical Dads, whose spastic, punky vibes may not be child-friendly, but certainly had show-goers dancing.
The late afternoon saw sets from Philly’s DRGN King, riling the basement with blues-y charmers, front man Dominic Angelella wailing and flailing with glee. Next up: zany psych masters Laser Background, whose capricious melodies and spacey vibes reminded me of a kazoo-tinged Sgt. Pepper’s. Ghost Light took the basement stage next, offering warm, boy-girl harmonies and clappy percussion (courtesy of a raucous, shirtless drummer); they were followed, upstairs, by “mathcore” fivesome For Sleeping or Jumping, whose super-charged set definitely tended towards the latter. Jersey’s Slow Animal closed out the afternoon, filling the basement with jangly, lo-fi, fuzz pop.
I returned for the evening (after a quick stop at Allegro’s Pizza) to spazz out to Philly noise-rockers Banned Books, whose clash-y blend of bloopy beats with rock guitar and drums transformed the basement into a schizophrenic thrash-fest. Brooklyn’s Total Slacker followed upstairs, living up to their name with understated slacker pop, full of lush, shoegaze vocals.