Broncho's stage setup is minimal but it still looks cramped with plenty of trip hazards. Cables are woven like a tapestry all over the stage, there are 2 stacks of Fender amps, bass amps and a drum kit. Ben is missing, along with his equipment, but I'm not sure there would have even be room for him or it. The set starts off with 'All Choked Up' off their latest Bad Behaviour.
Don't sit down, I need to say something
I need to say another before I get choked up
I wanna dig deep and I wanna dig deeper
Unless you use another way to get choked up
Their message to the audience (I was sitting down and I'm sorry) and introduction to their set, fitting I think to myself and make a note to note it. The crowd was a buzz, although some people sat no one sat still, but not in that hostile tooth-chipping way...that would come later. Through the first half of the set Ryan, Penny and Nathan are impossible to photograph (using my phone camera). Every shot is blurry because like their audience they can't sit still either. Ryan's shoulders are bouncing up and down as he strums along with his knees like pistons. Penny's moving and swaying with her audience and long-neck-bass even taking a moment to lean down at one point to dance for someone's phone. Nathan at the back hammers at his drums like a Lichtenstein a-la rat-tat-tat-tat.
Then about half way through 'Speed Demon' comes on off Double Vanity and the energy shifts from restrained and pleasant tunes to overdrive. I'm hearing distinct similarities to Ty Segall's 'Candy Sam', one of my favourite tunes off Emotional Mugger. The audience has finally been giving the green light to cut loose, and they do. The audience moves en masse and that energy is fed right back to Broncho and they follow up with 'China' then slow the pace down a second with 'Taj Mahal' before they're right back up again with 'Class Historian'. Everyone knows the track because it starts off with Broncho's unique non-lexible stylings, T T T T T T T D D D D D D D, coming over the speakers like an alien transmission waking up a sleeper cell on earth. The audience heeds the call lumbering to and fro like some headless beast, Broncho are all visibly sweating from the effort of non-stop-play-till-you-drop music. There is no end in sight. By the time the 10 year old French Birthday girl (see interview here) has passed out the rest of the audience is still swinging around wildly, their energy and the band's is palpable. Broncho crack out 20 tunes without a break or chatting up their audience.
Obviously go see Broncho if they're playing near you, beg, borrow and steal to go see them. I don't get paid to say or write that by the way. If you listen to their music and you don't, you're doing yourself a disservice, but that's not how I want to end this article. During our interview Ryan dropped this one quote that really resonated with me but didn't exactly fit into the flow we had going or the line of questioning for that matter either. I didn't want to omit it though and I thought re-locating it to the end of the article as a summation might be best. Watching Broncho play that evening, listening and re-listening to their music or how they interacted with everyone throughout the night showed me this simple philosophy works. Hopefully it'll help me the next time I find myself on the other side of the velvet rope or curtain.
Ryan: I'm sort of like, between, act like you've been there before or also I don't expect to be anywhere, it's somewhere that I'm teetering on. I want to be comfortable but I tell myself that I'm supposed to anywhere that I'm at. And then there's also the other side that is I don't expect to be anywhere.