March 28, 2010
Wielding a keyboard enshrouded in an enormous American flag and sampling American classics like "Glory, Glory Hallelujah!", New Jersey-based Titus Andronicus
stripped bare and showed last night's Slim's crowd what it really
means to be a proud American. Barely two songs into the set, scruffy-bearded frontman Patrick Stickles tore off his sweatshirt, shot a few sprays of throat coat into his mouth, and chased it with a long pull on his Corona. "The sweatshirt was a bad choice," he said, before plunging into another song on his duct-taped guitar.
Stickles stripped emotionally almost as quickly as he threw off his clothes. Just a few songs later, he asked for the house lights to be turned up so he could have a real heart-to-heart with his fans. He was concerned, he explained, because he had been "actin' a fool" at sound-check and was worried that the drama and its aftermath might be affecting the fun factor of the show. Sickles offered a lengthy apology to both concertgoers and the staff of Slim's. When the audience responded with loud cheers, the singer visibly loosened up, and even managed to crack a smile. "The truth is," he said, "I'm a really sensitive guy."
The rawness of Stickles' confession amplified the pain
expressed in the following song, "No Future Part Three: Escape From No
Future," which Stickles said is about his relationship with
anti-depressants. But the subject matter of the song was evident without the preface, as it's laced with pleas like, "All I
want for Christmas are no feelings now," and "Everything makes me feel
nervous and nothing feels good for no reason." The self-doubt peaks when
the entire band shouts "You will always be a loser!" into their mics in
unison. Still, the outlook isn't altogether grim, as the last line
following the long string of self-doubt proclaims that yes, "You will
always be a loser, and that's ok."