Hipsters and punk rockers unite for Andrew Jackson Jihad

Andrew Jackson Jihad

June 9, 2014

The Masquerade- Atlanta, GA.

               Remember those completely obtuse high school cliques that separated the jocks from the nerds and the hipsters from the punks? Well, hipsters and punk kids unite! The Masquerade is always bringing exciting talent to the stage, and Monday night was no exception. The Andrew Jackson Jihad, Cheap Girls, and Dogbreth tour started out in Texas and finally made it’s way down to little ol’ Georgia, y’all! It was a folk-punk wonderland in the building, bringing all sorts of fans out. From the high-waisted shorts wearing hipsters to the pink mohawk rocking punks, I saw it all.

Dogbreth 2The night started strong with Dogbreth, a rockin’ band from  Phoenix, AZ. They played some tracks off their newest album, Sentimental Health, and really brought some fresh energy to the scorching, packed room (yeah, it was HOT in that space). They brought a light humor to the stage, along with an unmatchable a-game. If you haven’t heard them play before, I strongly suggest you do. They have that folky Houndmouth-esque sound mixed with some incredible trumpet riffs. This was my first time seeing them, and I became an instant fan. They set the bar pretty high for the rest of the talent. So, I’m glad to say the crowd really showed them some good ol’ Atlantean love.

That love kept coming as Cheap Girls took the stage. They’re a three piece rock group from Lansing, MI and they’re beyond rad. I thought the energy from Dogbreth was loud, but Cheap Girls brought a even bigger noise from the audience. After a few sound checks and modifications, they started overtaking the stage with powerful sound. And just when you thought the guitars couldn’t get louder, Ian Graham (lead vocalist) asked to pump it up; it was sick! My ears were reverberating just the way they should have been. Even better, a large cluster of people in the crowd knew every word to every song, and I was joining in with them every chance I got. Cheap Girls rocked it (seriously, Google these dudes and check out Gone All Summer).

Then it was time for the headliner, Andrew Jackson Jihad and band. They’re also from Phoenix, AZ and really have a folk sound that’s all their own. Now, I’ve been talking about the room’s energy since the Dogbreth set, and I tell you what, when Jihad hit the stage all bets were off; the crowd went nuts and, rightfully so. The stage looked like an old folky antique shop, with a cello off to the side and bouquets of flowers on the mic stands. And as Jihad sang into one of those decked out mics, people began to crowd surf (typical night at The Masquerade). But, as a safety precaution, the band took a moment to tell the fans to have a “chill night” by respecting the people around them and not crowd surfing. Everyone obliged wholeheartedly with a roar of clapping and shouts. Thus continued the show. Andrew Jackson Jihad 10

He played tunes from the new album, Christmas Island, and I don’t think there was one person NOT singing along to every word. It was a night of firsts, in my case; hadn’t seen Dogbreth or Andrew Jackson Jihad live before, so this was all an experience. I was happy to see such true and passionate fans in the crowd. And, super happy to see such an array of people amongst them (unlike, a lot of other shows I’ve supported).

The buzz around the room, was all about the song lyrics. If there is one thing about Jihad that’s completely different than other folk bands, it’s those lyrics. For lack of a better word, they’re raw. They speak to a different kind of person. Not someone who’s hung up on love, like a lot of songs cater to today, but to someone who has a voice and wants to stand up for anything and everything they’re passionate about. And although I couldn’t be totally on board with all of his lyrical choices, I totally respect him as an artist. It’s plain ballsy.

Overall, the show was full of passion and energy in a truer form than I’ve seen in a while. So, if you love some folk-punk music, quirky stage presence, and an inviting show experience then get your butts down to their next tour spot (check any of their Facebooks for updates). It’s well worth the trip!

Review by: Kayla Ciruolo

Andrew Jackson Jihad

Cheap Girls