Self Defense Family and Sannhet played Great Scott – 5/30

Sprawling New York collective Self Defense Family and post-metal trio Sannhet opened their co-headlining tour with support from Weeping Icon and Fiddlehead at Great Scott last week.

As a person reluctantly tied to a day job, I’m usually wary of four-band bills at the notoriously late-running Great Scott in the middle of a week, but last Wednesday’s show was an exception worth making.

Rightfully-hyped Boston quintet Fiddlehead opened with a cathartic set of their open-hearted post-hardcore, drawing from their excellent debut Springtime and BlindThe band shares membership with both the beloved Boston hardcore band Have Heart and the UK’s Basement – pedigree that definitely helped to pack in the early crowd.

NYC’s Weeping Icon took the room on a jarring trip with their doom-tinged and dread-suffused noise punk, which effectively set the stage for Sannhet‘s thunderous instrumentals to take flight. As always, the Brooklyn trio’s complement of projections and frantic strobes were as much a part of the show as the songs themselves. Their set melded cosmic heaviness and visual overload is satisfying fashion.

Self Defense Family closed out the evening, taking the stage just after midnight – pretty late, as talkative bandleader Patrick Kindlon was quick to make light of. The currently-six-piece band kept things relatively brief, but still turned in a sometimes hilarious, often stirring set. SDF’s sound defies straightforward categorizing, alternately pitched as post-punk, post-rock and post-hardcore, depending on who you ask. Wednesday’s set was post-something, anyway, following its own defiant path of rock deconstruction with Kindlon – one of the more engaging performers and genuinely funny people I’ve seen on stage in recent memory – at the helm. When he advises you to value the human connections in your life because they’re the only things that will matter before we all get swallowed by the sun someday, you listen.

Check out photos from the whole night’s bill below.