Ought w/ LVL UP & BRNDA @ Comet Ping Pong

This past weekend I went to an incredible sold out show at Comet Ping Pong on Connecticut ave NW. With a stacked lineup featuring Ought, LVL UP, and BRNDA, it was a highly anticipated event that only exceeded my expectations.

Though hurricane Joaqin threatened to ruin everyone’s fun, I braved the 30 mph winds to grab an Uber up to the local venue.  I had never been to Comet Ping Pong before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  All I knew was that there was some great pizza and possibly ping pong involved.  As we pulled up the bright neon orange sign with the word “COMET”  signified that we had reached our destination.  After receiving my crown shaped hand stamp I entered the live music portion of the venue as BRNDA took the stage.  BRNDA is a local band signed to DC’s very own Babe City Records.  BRNDA recently released their full length Year of the Manatee on cassette, and chose to perform some great tracks off of it.  Some of my favorites were “Snacks” and “Go Bi”.  These two songs are definitely playful and catchy, but express greater themes at the same time.  After BRNDA opened up the night, LVL UP was up next.

LVL UP is originally from New York and consists of Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, guitar and vocals, Nick Corbo, bass and vocals, and Greg Rutkin, drums and vocals.  The band played a great set, including music from Hoodwink’d, their latest full length.  Though they didn’t play one of my favorite songs, “Annie’s a Witch,” I still had a great time bouncing around and singing along to their performance.  One of the most exciting things about LVL UP is that almost each member of the band contributes vocals (though Greg hasn’t sung yet, he will soon!), so you really get to experience the band in a unique way.  My favorite songs of the night included “Soft Power” and “I Feel Extra-Natural”.  At one point during “I Feel Extra-Natural” Mike Caridi got down on the floor and started shredding on his guitar for an intense two minutes, which the crowd responded to with excitement.

After another break the main event of the evening took place; Ought took the stage. Ought’s members include Tim Darcy, guitar/vocals, Matt May, keyboard, Ben Stidworthy, bass, and Tim Keen, drums and violin.  Ought, originally from Montreal, is signed to Constellation Records.  They have two full lengths, More Than Any Other Day and Sun Coming Down both of which were released through Constellation.  Tim Darcy looked just as peculiar as I had imagined he would, dressed in all black and sporting socks instead of shoes on stage.  They began with “Men For Miles” off of Sun Coming Down, which quickly engaged the crowd.  The foursome continued with other hits off of More Than Any Other Day, including “Habit” and “The Weather Song”.  Overall they played a great set and even stuck around at the end to hang out with their fans.

Though the weather was less than ideal the show was definitely a hit.  There was a great turnout for each of the bands, so hopefully these bands will be back in DC again soon.  Comet Ping Pong frequently puts on great shows and tickets are never too expensive, so go check it out sometime!


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