In celebration of Gross Ghost’s newest release, Public Housing, they threw a party with a solid lineup on Friday, November 22. The show was at Cat’s Cradle’s newly opened “back room,” located in the same building as the Cradle in Carrboro but a separate space entirely. This was my first time there and I really enjoyed the set up. You can find it by walking behind the Arts Center or the Cradle depending on where you parked. Pro tip: there’s a new parking deck that’s usable for show overflow parking, which came in handy considering the main room also had a show going on that night. Immediately when you walk in you have the bar to your left and the stage on the right. I watched the show from the upstairs area, a bit compact but great vantage point with both seated and standing room available without feeling a disconnect from the downstairs crowd.
Simply put, Schooner gets you pumped. They were a great choice to kick off the night. Bouncing around and switching off instruments between members depending on the song, they played old and new tunes. Juan Huevos joined them on stage to rap during “Still in Love,” a pretty chill track off of their newest album Neighborhood Veins. It added a different flavor from the album version and really complimented the vibe of the song. The new songs translated well to a live performance, and as usual, the band didn’t disappoint.
Last Year’s Men followed, rocking out with a few scattered dance moves and head bangs. It’s absolutely impossible to stand still during their shows. Within a few strums you’re inevitably going to be tapping your foot, drumming on your bottle with your free hand or dancing. A vivacious band with fast guitar riffs, they cracked some jokes between songs and easily impressed the people in the crowd who were unfamiliar with them before.
Gross Ghost, hosting the night, looked overjoyed to hop onstage and share their new songs. While most of the show focused on Public Housing tracks, they still hit all the favorites from Brer Rabbit, including “Leslie” and “Architect.” The new songs were equally as catchy, offering stomps and hooks that became earworms. Some of my favorites of the night were “You Will” and “Seeds.” The album as a whole has been getting significant play on the local college radio stations and good reviews across the board. The band brought the energy that solidified this. Vocals followed the guitar melody that came to life with Mike Dillon’s stage presence. Thankful and appreciative of the crowd, they had a hell of a set, including cameo appearances from local artists, too. Christy Smith of the Tender Fruit joined for supplementary vocals on “They Say,” and Stu McLamb of The Love Language took over bass at the end of the night.