CEREMONY with HOLOGRAMS at The Shop @ Parts & Labour, Tuesday, September 11. Rating: NNNN
From the beginning, Ceremony seemed like a strange choice to open Bloc Party's two-night stand at Danforth Music Hall. Sure, they've recently given their urgent, intense hardcore some room to breathe, but their brand of post-punk still likely leans too heavily to the punk side to satisfy many of Bloc Party's fans, or to suit the ornate, recently reopened concert hall.
So it was a breath of stale beer to see the California shit-kickers slip into a last-minute late-night slot on an already rock-solid punk rock bill at Parts & Labour. For all their so-called "maturation," Ceremony still thrives with fists pumping in their faces, fans shouting along, gear jostled by moshers. And they had plenty of that at the apparently renovated basement venue (the room's bar moved from the left side of the room to the right, opening up sightlines), tailoring the short set towards their older, punker material for the benefit of the small, obviously devout audience.
Earlier, the once-intended headliners, Holograms, played a solid set of dance-punk that relied as much on siren-synths as on dual shout-singing. And, despite coming all the way from Sweden, they proved that they're a true punk band - "Does anyone have any extra beds?" asked bassist Andreas Lagerström. "We don't have anywhere to stay tonight."