Cymbals Eat Guitars at DC9


“Sorry I tripped.”Movie Get Out (2017)

Joseph D’Agostino, Cymbals Eat Guitars’ guitarist and lead vocalist, matter-of-factly apologized to the DC9 congregation after getting caught on some wires and falling into the crowd. To his own fault, he probably shouldn’t have been standing so close to the edge of the stage, but, that being said, that’s also where the music took him.

Or maybe that’s where he took the music.


Cymbals Eat Guitars has been around for the better part of a decade now, yet the band continues to headline smaller venues. Such was the case for Sunday’s show for an audience of maybe one hundred people; however, the quartet stretched the space like they stretched their instruments: no fret went untouched, no key on the double-tier synth stack went un-played, and Andrew Dole, Cymbals’ drummer, exuded genuine enjoyment as he pushed his modest, seven-piece set as far as it could go.

And, perhaps, that’s the band’s greatest appeal. On tour promoting their latest album, Pretty Years, Cymbals Eat Guitars actively packs as large of a sound as possible into whatever confines they find themselves in. At Sunday’s show, the band personally sound-checked their own instruments before their set, and the result of their meticulousness was a swarm of harmonious noise and floor-shaking bass. D’Agostino hopped on one foot as the band thrashed through punk-spirited songs like “Beam,” and jumped octaves as he strained—and managed to hit—the falsetto notes on “Jackson.”

Cymbals Eat Guitars tiptoe the delicate line between the avant-garde melodic and the overzealous cacophonic, yet the earnestness in their efforts outweighs any human missteps along the way.

Sunday’s DC9 outing was no different. In a concert-going world where people push to the front of the crowd just to cage the moment in a Snapchat video, it’s refreshing to see a body fall from the stage and knock the phones out of their hands. That’s when live music is right: when the levees break and the sound floods everything. “Sorry I tripped” is like apologizing for an act of nature.

After so many years, it seems Cymbals Eat Guitars may never be a band that sells out any of DC’s largest venues, but if they ever do play a show of that magnitude, their equilibrium of fortitude and humility will generate enough noise to engulf the space.

For more information on Cymbals Eat Guitars, check them out at the links below.

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