Scenario: you’re on tour with your band and some gear gets stolen. Ok, you recover, it’s not the end of the world. You wake up a few days later to discover that this time almost all of your gear was stolen. OOF. Okay, how many somewhat easily discouraged people, like me, would pack up, call it a day, and head on home? The situation sounds like a nightmare, but for Preoccupations, it was a disappointing reality. And lucky those guys aren’t easily discouraged.
Last week, Preoccupations had nearly everything in their van taken from them, just days before their two sold-out shows at the Echo. Instead of canceling the tour, they persevered and decided to borrow gear from their fantastic touring partner, Moaning. Then they did what any band with shitty luck would do, they set up a GoFundMe. The group has dealt with a lot of bad luck and tragedy within the past few years, but it truly does only seem to make them stronger. Instead of cowering from tragedy, they keep growing… like some kind of mega-band.
Preoccupations did exactly what they came to do and blew the roof off of the Echo. The room was filled and the energy of the crowd was hyped, probably even more so because after all of the adversity, it became obvious that these guys really just want to play music for people. Under any bad circumstance. Their industrial post-punk noise is heavy and satisfying all at once as you feel frontman, Mike Flegel’s bass deep in your chest. Actually, Flegel’s bass was the only thing they had left after the looting as he was apparently “spooning the bass” in their hotel room. True love never dies.
While their live sound was not entirely up to Preoccupations’ typical standard— because they weren’t using their own equipment—the passion and energy were still there. Honestly, if you weren’t a diehard Preoccupations fan, you probably wouldn’t of known the difference. It’s a show where you can dance, sit down, look into the void whilst having an existential crisis. They opened with “Select Your Drone” from their first ever EP when they were under the controversial name Viet Cong. Let’s not unpack that right now. Each song was darker and more intense than the last, and it felt like diving into the abyss with open arms. They appropriately ended their set with “Death” which clocks at about eleven minutes. It’s a flurry of stormy, industrial punk noise that sounds anxious, yet extremely cathartic. If they haven’t proven it to you by now, I’m sure Preoccupations will be around for a long, long time.