There’s no doubting the musicianship of the NYC trio, Battles.  They eschew the label math-rock, and all of its dorky connotations.  Yet, these lads swiftly worked themselves into a sweaty mess with their precise and proficient, chugging, instrumental melodies.  At times they looked like mad scientists on stage, twisting and turning knobs as they steered their songs toward a Duran Duran, new wave dance or an old skool hip-hop rhythm.  What wasn’t exactly clear was whether the crowd appreciated all of that hard work.  When one looked around, there were some head bobs to be found, and others in the crowd working a light groove.  But, just as noticeable were those folks with blank stares.  It was hard to tell if those stone faces were impressed or waiting to be impressed.

All photos by Mara Robinson