The Giraffes Rock Bowery Ballroom 12/13/05

First note this entry is “posted by Stereogum.” That’s ’cause it takes all three Stereogumboys to convey the awesomeness of the Giraffes’ set at Bowery last night. (You’ll remember from Jed’s CMJ wrap-up: “Holy shit, did they rock.”)

The Giraffes are pure metal joy. They are Soundgarden before haircuts, Guns N Roses before MTV, Metallica before orchestras. Singer Aaron Lazar strutted, moaned, and wailed his way around the stage at the Bowery Ballroom like a cross between a ringmaster and Southern Baptist preacher. Seeing him on stage, dressed all in black, it’s easy to see that the two are indistinguishable in Hell.

Damien Paris plays riffs so heavy they create their own gravity, which means it took 20 minutes of staring to see that he plays his left-handed guitar strung upside-down, like a heavy metal Paul McCartney. Drummer Andrew Totolos was felt as much as heard, as he spewed water (?) and beer at the crowd. Who, to their collective credit, did not back up. And why should they, when Lazar was throwing his trademark bottle of Jim Beam out for the crowd to share. At one point, someone asked for it, and upon getting it back, Aaron mouthed to the guy, “Why did you put the lid back on?”

John Rosenthal bears mention as the Charlie Watts of the group- he wore a three-piece suit (well, not really, but compared to the leather clad Paris, it might as well have been) and plays bass with a fingerstyle more befitting jazz or funk. But you can tell that he’s got a freezer full of bodies in his apartment just the same.

Pre-show, Damien and Andrew posed for Stereogum readers…

Damien and Andrew strike a pose

But ultimately we had no problem getting wild stage shots. They even gave us the setlist.

“Dog Sex” livens up any Valentine’s Day Mix.

Here’s what you missed if you showed up only for headliners Diamond Nights.

Damien rocks the upside-down guitar.

Aaron offers up a toast to Jim.

Damien falls into the arms of a friend.

Damien shred the encore from the audience pit. Andrew was down there too, but we think he fell.

More pictures “after the jump.”

Damien rocks out mid-sneeze.

“Is the next verse about drinking or fucking? I forget.”

“Dude, smell my finger.”

Aaron is so drunk he can no longer stand under his own power.

Buy their CD here.