Last week, Calgary 4-piece Viet Cong played SXSW and left audiences reeling – not only with their explosive and immersive live show, but also the sight of drummer Michael Wallace playing one handed, with the other broken and wrapped in a sling.
Hey Reverb write “It could have been a disaster with the entire industry watching – but they pulled it off. The surprise here isn’t that Wallace is a talented musician. The surprise is that this band – and any band for that matter – has cojones like this. This is also the beautiful thing about SXSW: You’re seeing these bands perform the defining moments of their careers. Bands are being tested, and letting it all out on the stage. It makes for some truly unforgettable sets, and, hopefully, it also makes careers.”
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The band enlisted help from Metz drummer Hayden Menzies for their blistering set from FLOOD’s Cedar Street Courthouse and were also joined by Swans powerhouse Thor for their final show. Rolling Stone describe the scene: “Though Viet Cong drummer Mike Wallace came onstage with one arm in a sling, he played a formidable set with just one hand. On Friday, the band brought in reinforcements to the Fader Fort in the form of Thor Harris, the drummer for Swans and Shearwater, who showed up with just an hour’s notice. Standing to the side of Wallace, who was seated behind the kit, Harris beat the living hell out of the half of the drum kit that Wallace couldn’t access, returning the band to its characteristic in-your-face insanity and then some.”
Watch Viet Cong’s KEXP session HERE:
It was a true rock and roll week for Viet Cong where they proved that nothing can keep a great band down. Here’s Stereogum with their review: “Viet Cong proved that this set was just another event in their turbulent career, something that will be laughed about and immortalized by anyone who witnessed the scene. Viet Cong didn’t miss a step. If they did, no one heard it.”
Pre-arm breakage, Viet Cong stopped by the KEXP studios in Seattle to deliver “one of the most intense sessions that room has ever seen.” You can watch that session in full above.
Viet Cong have also announced another round of North American dates today, including Pitchfork and Osheaga festivals, you can see their current dates as well as the newly announced ones all listed below.
Upcoming Tour Dates
03.24.15 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
03.25.15 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT
03.26.15 – Treefort Music Fest – Boise, ID
03.27.15 – Barboza – Seattle, WA
03.28.15 – Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC
03.29.15 – Upstairs Cabaret – Victoria, BC
05.8.15 – Shaky Knees Festival – Atlanta, GA
06.6.15 – Field Day – London, UK
6.12.15 – Voyeur – Philadelphia, PA
6.13.15 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
6.14.15 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
6.16.15 – Sinclair – Boston, MA
6.17.15 – College Street Music Hall – Hamden, CT
6.18.15 – Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
7.31.15 – Osheaga – Montreal, QC