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The Return of the Von Bondies

After a brief hiatus from the stage, Detroit garage rockers the Von Bondies made their long-awaited return to NYC’s Mercury Lounge Friday evening (Sept. 7) for what was their first show in nearly three years. And the hour-long performance can most easily be summed up by the gigantic whites of singer/guitarist Jason Stollsteimer’s eyes — and man, does he have some crazy ones!

After a brawling guitar-driven set from Massachusetts-bred openers the Charms, the Von Bondies blasted a packed house of an eclectic group of onlookers — half crushing each other with the excitement of being privy to new material by the band, and the other half with drunkenness — barreling through several garage-pop driven tunes from their sophomore long-player, Pawn Shoppe Heart, before revealing the new goods from their forthcoming follow up, Love, Hate, and Then There’s You. Along with the new members — guitarist Alicia Gbur, guitarist Matt Lannoo and bassist Leann Banks — came the introduction of new tunes such as “21st Birthday,” and “Pale Bride,” taking their usual dirty glam-punk inspired chant-alongs into a surf rock bonanza — highlighted by some Danzig-style wailing flying from Stollsteimer’s ever-gaping mouth. By the end of the show, Stollsteimer’s eyes were covered by the sweaty heaviness of his bangs, but the echoes of a heavy bass drum reverberating off the sweat-soaked walls spoke for him. Love ’em or hate ’em, Stollsteimer’s Von Bondies are back.

We asked: What did you think of the sound of the new songs you heard tonight in comparison to the Von Bondies’ previous studio effort, Pawn Shoppe Heart?