I caught The Armed at Saint Vitus Bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Who are The Armed, and why should you care? The Armed are the most incendiary band in extreme music at the moment.
Five things that happen at a The Armed show:
First, several men in ghillie suits set up a folding table in the middle of the floor and unpack a chinese food dinner with bottles of pink champagne. For the uninitiated, Ghillie suits are full body costumes that make a person look like a plant. The Ghillie Men will heretofore be called Swampmonsters.
Second, you may notice an awful lot of lights. Like an absurd amount of lights and think "fuck me, that's a lot of lights." You're absolutely correct. It is far too many lights. Just go with it.
Third, in addition to the swampmonsters eating chinese food and toasting with pink champagne there are 8 people in the band. Be cool. Just go with it.
Fourth, a large man will give you a hug. It will be a beautiful moment. Go with it. This is going to happen a lot.
Fifth, and most importantly. The room will fill with too much smoke, too many people will be screaming at once, too many lights will flash, bodies will fly, and you will have the best night ever.
The Armed have shows that can be described best as a "self contained riot." The members of the band are on the stage and in the crowd, and on top of the crowd. It's a full room experience with the audience holding the mic cord above the fray so that a beautiful viking can wander freely in an effort to deliver a sweaty, whirling serenade to each and every person in attendance.
Who is in The Armed? It doesn't matter, no one knows, and they aren't saying.
They've released 2 full length albums, both full of explosive chaotic hardcore that also defy those terms. Only Love is their most recent full length effort and it is a slapper. The live shows are full sensory experiences that take the art seriously. Especially when it's very silly.
Like, how they made Frank Turner very mad recently.
I attempted to buy a t-shirt as a souvenir. There was one t-shirt for sale. Not one style. One shirt. It was XXX-L, had been custom made and recently printed. The ink may have still been wet.
Everything about The Armed is one of a kind.
Catch them on tour now.
PS- The Swampmonsters will share their food and Pink Champagne. They will also ‘surprise hug’ you throughout the event.