Despite the extremely tight quarters and fire pit-levels of smoke, or perhaps because of this, I’m instantly thrown back to DIY spaces and basement punk shows of my college years, where we always had the MOST fun and heard the BEST bands. And really, this is the kind of place that suits a Shybits concert to a T.
Shybits, a post-punk/ garage rock trio hailing from all different parts of the planet are an emerging Berlin-based band. The first time I heard them play, it was out a window this past summer at Toast Hawaii? Internet Explorer? somewhere in that space, you know the one.
They were practicing before the show and their mix of twangy guitars, slightly goofy screaming, and grungy intensity had me instantly hooked. It’s the kind of sound you would imagine from a band you got invited to by your older sibling’s hot friend in high school or something: upbeat and youthful, effortlessly cool. That also happened to be the band’s first show with their badass new drummer, Meg, (also of Snøffeltøffs).
Upbeat and youthful, effortlessly cool
The band has since gone through another slight line-up change, with their new guy Piero on bass and back-up vocals, and after driving around listening to their tape for a good part of the summer, I was excited to see what they could do. My expectations were high and they didn’t disappoint.
To be quite honest, when they started playing, diving into their newest single/ video release, “Jaw” right off the bat, they seemed a little nervous, ever so slightly out of synch, like trying to catch up to the crowd’s enthusiasm. Though even this added to the no-frills, casual appeal. “I don’t have much to say, I’m nervous” said Liam, the main vocalist and guitarist after a few songs. It’s always charming when a band admits this.
“Shybits’ set was just like the best things about their songs: quick, unpredictable snippets of raw sound and good times”
Pretty soon, Shybits found their stride, the crowd started dancing, and the fun, hand-banging goodness began with their concise and catchy songs, like my personal favorite “Let Down”, mixed in with post-punk musical interludes, fresh pieces they’d apparently barely practiced, smiles, and jocular banter, psychedelic projections in tow. And for an hour, I was transported back to summer.
Shybits’ set was just like the best things about their songs: quick, unpredictable snippets of raw sound and good times, and the audience reaction was overwhelmingly positive, “shut the f&%$ up and play, you’re amazing”, “please just one more!”
They played a joke-y 30 second encore, laughing amongst themselves, and walked off.
Let’s hope this line-up sticks for a while, it’s a keeper.