The Chance Joined by Local Guitar Hero Chris Grier Backstage

D.C. art-rockers The Chance get some heavy-duty support from friend Chris Grier at Black Cat's Backstage Monday night.

The trio has been on the DC music scene in some form or an other -- led by drummer Viraj DeSilva and singer-guitarist Joshua Padgett -- for about a decade. Lately, featuring Gist's Finley Martin on bass, it's got a full, epic sound.

Influences range from the Joy Division side of post-punk to the beautiful noise of Sonic Youth to the adventurous goth of the legendary Bauhaus. While Joy Division comes through loudest, the angsty-but-hopeful style of Sonic Youth guides the band's passion.

The sound screams '90s alt-rock, but with more ambience and intricacy. Now, if they got Grier to lend a hand in their recordings, we'd really have something special.

The noisemonger Grier makes a beautiful-but-brutal experimental racket with his guitar. He's such a terrific noise-pop stud, the likes of Mike Watt and Thurston Moore have recruited him. And he plays with the latter in the noise rock supergroup To Live and Shave in L.A. alongside Rat Bastard, Andrew W.K. (on the drums where he belongs) and more.

Grier's axe made Sean McArdle's solo debut soar. And he's led his outsider talents to Don Fleming -- another local underground legend -- Little Wings and the even outsiderer Little Howlin' Wolf. With Scott Verrastro, another Little Howlin' Wolf alum who runs the experimental group Kohoutek (once and occassionally again a D.C. outfit), Grier is half of the scary good drums-and-guitars duo Ultimate VAG.

His opening for The Chance makes this maybe the best local bill of 2009.

(Photo courtesy Chris Buresh,

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