Q and Not U - Live 2/8/03

The "Fest Full of Rock" indie festival took place in town this past Saturday. Had it not been for a blurb on Dischord's website, I wouldn't have even known about it. After seeing the list of performers, I proceeded to buy tickets online just to make sure I got in. Good thing too, since the place eventually sold out. While there were a lot of bands, I'm just going to focus on Q and Not U, which was one of the best performances.

We caught a few early bands, some of which were decent and some that just sucked, and left to get my digital camera around 4:30. When we got back around 5, the place was packed with people catching the start of Denali's performance. Their set was excellent. I was expecting to just sit through it waiting for Q and Not U but I ended up liking most of the material so the wait was bearable, even enjoyable. They finished the set and began clearing off the stage so Q could set up.

I'm not sure why I was anticipating Q so much. I had their album Different Damage which I was kinda into, even though it seemed a little repetitive. Just being a Dischord band was enough to get me excited I guess. So they set up with all kinds of instruments; two guitars, a bass, drum set, a small keyboard, and various percussion objects. After they took the stage, the bassist then applied "war paint" to his face with a thick magic marker. And then they launched into their set.

The first thing that immediately struck me was how intense they were. From start to finish they never let up. The bassist was all over the place, spasming and jumping around, almost knocking the keyboard over a few times. The drummer was pretty stone-faced but laid down a solid beat, and the guitars were noisy but somehow worked. The guitarist and drummer kept to their respective instruments, but the bass player also interchanged between a second guitar, percussion, keyboards, singing, and a weird mouth instrument thing.

The only gripe I had was the guitar tone being a little on the sharp piercing side, but I can't say it detracted from anything. Most of the material they played was from Different Damage so I recognized a lot of it. While the music is kind of experimentalish and isn't for everyone, the band still rocks hard live and the album material is surprisingly good live. So it might do you good to check them out, if you have the chance.


Student Activities Building

Charlottesville, VA


Written by: Tosh

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