Parquet Courts finished the last stop of their U.S. tour last week at the 9:30 Club, and to no surprise, they went out with a bang. Within seconds of emerging onto the 9:30 stage, it became obvious that they were on a mission to make the most of what they would announce to be their final show “for a very, very long time.”
The Brooklyn-based rock quartet jumped right into the thick of things, kicking off the show with the first four tracks of their latest full-length album, Human Performance. Back-to-back standouts “Dust” and “Human Performance” set the tone for the night, with frontman Andrew Savage’s colossal voice echoing through the venue as he stood shrouded in smoke. It didn’t take long for the crowd to catch on; about three songs in, as the band broke into an upbeat performance of “Outside,” a mosh pit formed near the stage that would eventually engulf the better half of the venue.
Despite the success of their latest release, Parquet Courts weren’t afraid to touch back on some of their earlier, less known hits. They moved quickly into performances from their last album, 2015’s Content Nausea, including a fast-paced rendition of the album’s piercing title track. The duo of Light Up Gold standouts “Master of My Craft” and “Borrowed Time” helped loosen the band up even further, giving them the freedom to launch into the distortion-based jams their live performances have become centered around. That’s not to say they weren’t prepared to slow things down, though; the show received as many highlights from garage rock jams like “Black and White” and “Paraphrased” as it did from slower, more romantic tracks like “Dear Ramona.”
After taking a final short break for some banter and shameless self-promotion, the group launched into the final stretch of their show. Exceedingly aware that this would be their last opportunity to perform for quite some time, they set out on a mission to rile the crowd up for a memorable last run. Guitarist/vocalist Austin Brown kicked off the final set with an anthemic performance of the newly revamped single “Captive of the Sun,” clearly aiming to get the crowd moving one last time before the official end of their tour. This proved to be successful as Brown transitioned into an uncharacteristically dance-y rendition of “One Man No City.” The cowbell-driven performance transformed the former mosh pit into a dance floor, leaving Brown with only one thought: “Who woulda thought D.C. could be so fun?”
With this in mind, the band finished off with performances of “Light Up Gold” and “Sunbathing Animal” that seemed determined to leave the entire crowd hard of hearing. They continued into a noise-rock jam that probably left the 9:30 Club with a few blown speakers, and left more than a few listeners covering their ears for the safety of their hearing. Excessive volume, however, was a small price to pay to see a band leave everything they had out on the stage. The energy was electric, and it only left fans waiting for the next tour.