Wednesday played the Cambridge Elks – 11/16

Asheville shoegazers Wednesday sold out the Elks Lodge for a ONCE-presented gig with Philly’s They Are Gutting a Body of Water and Boston’s Squitch earlier this month.

“Shoegaze” is the shorthand we’re using to talk about the band Wednesday, but there’s a lap steel twang and a confessional singer-songwriter undercurrent that set the band apart from your more conventional pedal board worshippers (not that I have anything against your more conventional pedal board worshippers, mind you). Their August LP Twin Plagues has kicked up a fair amount of buzz on the strength of that unique sound, and a recent Tuesday night at the Elks basement unsurprisingly drew a sell-out crowd eager to hear those tunes. The resulting set, anchored by bandleader Karly Hartzman’s raw, heart-on-sleeve performance, was a stunner. I can’t imagine it’ll be long before Wednesday are filling rooms that aren’t subterranean and stage-less.

On a different quadrant of the shoegaze spectrum were tourmates They Are Gutting a Body of Water, whose wall of sound brought to mind the controlled chaos of fellow Philadelphians Empath or Spirit of the Beehive in pleasing but not derivative fashion. Locals Squitch – who I’m happy to see popping up on bills all over town lately – rounded out the evening nicely. ONCE may not have a regular outdoor space for the time being or a full-time home just yet, but thankfully they’re still bringing the distinguished gigs to town in the meantime.

Scroll below for a gallery of all three sets.