All photos by Sarah Tello.
by Dariahn Hernandez
The dynamic band of brothers from Orange County took the Catalyst stage once more this past halloweekend entertaining a crowd of ghouls and ghosts. Sporting costumes reminiscent of villains found in 90s action flicks, Fletcher and Wyatt Shears set a cult-like tone for a venue embraced in darkness and fog.
With support from the Seattle-based experimental trio, So Pitted, and Bay area recognized rapper, J.Lately, the crowd’s energy was well enticed in anticipation of a thrilling set. While J.Lately’s verses delivered a rhythmic flow to prompt a pulse of motion in the audience, the sounds of So Pitted set a precursor to the frenzied energy of the following set.
As the lights dimmed and the crowd hollered in response, the duo emerged from the backdrop decorated with their jester logo. After a couple of “I love you’s” from the crowd and a moment to take the stage, the set was kicked off with their 2016 single, “Call This # Now,” thus ensuing chaotic movement from an ocean of soon to be sweaty bodies. Popular singles and tunes from their latest EP, “Mirror Might Steal Your Charm,” made up the bass heavy setlist that had the brothers switching from instruments to vocals. By the end of the night, I found myself drenched in sweat and decorated in bruises, but the brothers earned a 2 song encore that put a proper end to the night. In talking to some staff members after the show, one gentleman inquired that it was the most crowd surfing he’d seen from a performance in a while.
Having seen them back in 2017 at, “You Are Going To Hate This Fest 2,” hosted by The Frights, their performance was exponentially more involved and powerful in harnessing their experimental sound. Coinciding with Halloween, it was a night of unleashing the sinister jester that lies within us all.
By dj saratonin
Before the cross-genre duo hit The Catalyst stage, I had the pleasure of interviewing Wyatt and Fletcher Shears before their show. Upon arriving at The Catalyst where I interviewed the guys before their set, I was greeted with their dyed-heads and kind hello’s. To my surprise, they were just outside of their van waiting to unload, which was a relief knowing that there were no fans swamping the area. If you had attended their concert later on, you would know it completely contrasted that energy. The concert was lively with painted faces and thrashing bodies, everyone wanted to consume as much of the moment as they could. It was interesting to see the twins on and off the stage, as when they’re not entertaining a crowd with their funky dance moves and energetic pulses, they are quite shy and easy-going.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was glad that my time with them seemed like I was talking to some of my own friends. I didn’t feel a sense of pressure to perform, or like there was difference in who we were. There was an openness to talk about whatever we wanted, which was the same energy that carried throughout their show. It was clear that the audience also felt that sense of openness, with the majority of the crowd pushing their own boundaries of expression. It felt comfortable, like people were fully enjoying themselves in a moment of complete physical and mental freedom. This is what I believe makes The Garden’s performances an unforgettable experience–the fact that they don’t overtly take space themselves but leave room for their audiences to engage and meet them at their liberated expression.
Check out dj saratonin’s interview with them!: