02.10: Yob + Thou – The Big Top
Anyone who has been to even a handful of underground or DIY concerts in New Orleans over the last couple of years is probably at least casually aware of the astounding creative talent that continues to bubble under its surface while going anomalously unrecognized by much of the outside world. For most, that “Us Against Them” phenomenon is and always has been this city’s defining narrative. But within a steadily rising community of artists and music heads striving and waiting for New Orleans’ national DIY comeuppance lies Thou, a different kind of anomaly altogether.
This Baton Rouge/New Orleans-based sludge and black metal hybrid has, since its inception in 2005, enjoyed the exact opposite type of success: acknowledged locally with no larger a profile than any other under-the-radar act, they have managed to build a hefty – possibly semi-legendary – following outside the state of Louisiana. Though embarking on nationwide tours with surprising regularity and launching cross-Atlantic jaunts nearly as often, as well as being offered the king’s platter by Scion AV (who, for frame of reference, is the entity responsible for Big Freedia’s heavy national push as of late, a prospect this band politely declined), Thou’s local following is a quaintly smaller affair, possibly by design. When your vocalist is Bryan Funck, a near-fifteen-year veteran of DIY media and co-curator of NOLADIY with firm deep ties to the New Orleans community, you can feel comfortable knowing that even without an active indie-slanted promotional thrust you have a rabid, devoted fan base.
And as this rabid fan base will tell anyone, Thou’s imminent hiatus, spurred by the cross-country move of guitarist Andy Gibbs, is tragically perfect. While the band’s indefinite extended break defies the growth in notoriety they are bound to enjoy, it – like every other calculation the band has made over the last half decade – is decidedly on their own terms. If Thou finds itself lost in the ether forever, the band’s body of work and legacy as one of the most successful DIY acts that Baton Rouge or New Orleans has ever seen remains. Friday night’s performance at the Big Top with Eugene, Oregon-based doom metalists Yob will be one of (hopefully) several swansongs intended to wind-down Thou’s local run, before taking it to Europe for the finale.
MP3: Yob: “Grasping Air”
02.13: The Polyphonic Spree + New Fumes + Alexis Marceaux – House of Blues
02.14: For Your Lungs Only + I’m Fine + Controller – Banks Street Bar
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks