Arts Desk

Photos: Silversun Pickups, Cloud Nothings @ 9:30 Club

It's always exciting to see how bands deal with playing the 9:30 Club for the first time. Playing their inaugural show at the V Street NW club Friday night, the members of Silversun Pickups handled it with aplomb. "This is a fucking big deal for us," said lead singer/guitarist Brian Aubert to the capacity crowd.

Out supporting their new record, Neck of the Woods, and using fill-in bassist Sarah Negahdari of Los Angeles band The Happy Hollows (regular bassist Nikki Monninger is expecting twins), the Pickups tore through their catalog with obvious joy, to which the audience reacted in kind. Tracks like "Common Reactor" and "Panic Switch" were loud and raucous, and closer "Lazy Eye" induced pogoing.

I wondered how they could possibly follow up something as explosive as "Lazy Eye" in the encore, but the secret is to play a song you've never played before ("Make Believe") and end it with a searing version of another well-loved song ("Well Thought Out Twinkles"). Between the Pickups set, and the Buzzcocks/Nirvana-influenced openers Cloud Nothings, distortion and volume ruled the night.

See photos from both sets in the gallery.

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