But knowing his backing band are the members of primordial garage rockers Flesh Wounds, I was curious how they would manage to, well, frankly... rein themselves in. Flesh Wounds as a band simply explodes on stage. That kind of energy could simply swamp McCaughan's finely crafted pop tunes.
Short answer: they do just fine. And so does Mac. Restraint by good players really goes a long way, and can be as important as balls-to-the-wall punk. They played 2 sets, the first of which was mostly stuff from the new album, and a few Portastatic tunes. I LOVED the amped up version of Angels of Sleep. The second set was, I think, mostly covers (Iggy Pop, Tall Dwarves, Superchunk... would that count as a cover?). It gave them all a chance to cut loose a little more, and Mac was clearly having fun with the covers. Dan McGee from Spider Bags got up to sing along on one tune.
Speaking of balls-to-the-wall, openers Blackball (from Raleigh, NC & Richmond, VA) brought the primal energy. Their singer Ericka screams vocals as if her lungs were twice their size... she is pure id. Intense hardcore from a very tight band.
Some photos, and a couple of videos of Mac's band, follow (yeah yeah another version of Slack Motherfucker). As you can see, fog machine was stuck in overdrive.