Algiers at Washington’s – a groundbreaking performance

Atlanta post-rockers Algiers performed at Washington’s on January 26. KCSU’s Jane Godfrey reports.


Jane Godfrey

On Thursday, I attended Algiers’ show at Washington’s.

Algiers is a post-punk band from Atlanta which formed in London in 2012. They have also been described as post-industrial, art rock and political hip hop, all labels which fit them very well. They have a very edgy sound dominated by percussion, interesting synths and purposeful lyrics.

Opener Menyuska performed enjoyable music with dissatisfying sound quality

They were opened by Menyuska, a folksy-rock band. Their music was enjoyable, but I was put off by the poor sound balance in the band and I could barely hear the vocalists. What I could hear, however, was a seemingly unintentional dissonance between the main vocalist and backup singer. Granted, this could be a result of the sound balance and not their musicality, as they may not have been able to hear each other very well. I was also unimpressed by their stage presence and did not feel very involved in the performance. However, I thought their music was nice. With fewer technical issues, I think it would have been an entirely fantastic performance. It was a bit of a mismatch opener for Algiers, as it did not prepare me at all for what was to come.

When Algiers took the stage, the night got even better. About halfway through their set, they delivered a deeply moving “spoken word”-esque piece, where the singer cried “Trump did not stop tragedy” over and over. I was very impressed by the sound balance. When I see shows at Washington’s, the sound is often completely blown out by the drums and the vocalists are barely, if at all, intelligible. This was especially impressive because this band actually has two drummers! The layering of two complete percussion sets gives this band a cool edge.

Along the lines of unique musical choices, the electric guitarist played his guitar with a violin bow for one of the pieces! This band was extremely well received by the crowd – women were whooping, kids were headbanging at the front and an audience member even yelled “Great percussion!” in between pieces. Their stage presence was exceedingly engaging, and every band member was a joy to watch. The drummers and singer were passionate about their craft, and the keys/bass player danced through the whole set – which was especially entertaining. Just by watching this band, you can tell how much each of them enjoys making music.


Article and photography by Jane Godfrey. More information on Algiers and can be found on the band’s website.