Tropical F*** Storm Was A Total F*** Storm – And That’s A Good Thing


Photo Courtesy of Tropical F*** Storm.

“This is our first Friday night in St. Louis,” announced Erica Dunn of Tropical F*** Storm after an electrifying performance of the title track from the band’s new record “Braindrops.” The quartet, made up of Dunn (backing vocals, guitar, keyboards), Lauren Hammel (drums, electronics), Fiona Kitschin (bass, backing vocals) and frontman/mastermind Gareth Liddiard (lead vocals, guitar, main songwriter), after taking a break from art-punk act called the Drones, brought their f*** storm to Blueberry Hill on Sept. 13, and the crowd enjoyed every second of it.


For a crowd of likely no more than 50, there was an energy in the audience that swept by some and practically injected itself into others. While the perimeter of the compact basement room was mostly made up of adults minding their own business, the belly of the beast was a delightfully obnoxious band of shirtless punks making it hard for a bystander to not get hit by a flying body in their mosh pit party of ten (which led to some hilariously angry audience members).


But even the shirtless maniacs (which I mean more as a compliment) were no match for the sheer amount of adrenaline on display by the band, particularly Liddard. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a vocalist quite like him. Not only were his performances as dynamic and lively, if not more, than they are on record, but they were a full-body display, not simply an audible one. He really put on a show, like every front person of a band should.


Between tracks, the sound play was the star of the show, which included Liddiard throwing guitars to the side of the stage and playing with every pedal, every knob and everything he could to make the noisiest sounds available, with help, of course, from Dunn’s synthesizers and loose ends of guitar strings acting as plucked percussion.


Though largely steering away from their new material, the “Braindrops” tracks they did perform were absolutely the highlights of the show, with exception to the fan favorite “You Let My Tyres Down” from “A Laughing Death In Meatspace.” Not only did songs like “Who’s My Eugene?” and “Aspirin” sound even more angular and dystopian live, but through songs like these, the band proved just how immaculate their musicianship is. Every shouted backing vocal from Dunn and Kitschin added fuel to the fire, Hummel’s drumming was animalistic, to say the least, and again Liddard’s performances were unbelievably wild. The band played off each other like second nature, and it seemingly all led up to the final song, “Paradise,” which, along with many moments from that night, spread a smile across my face that made every Uber dollar I spent worth it.


I’m glad I got to see TFS’ first Friday night in St. Louis, as it certainly was a memorable one for me and everyone else at Blueberry Hill.