Shoegaze Band julie Wasn’t ‘skipping tiles’ at Schubas Tavern

julie made the intimate setting of Schubas Tavern into a shoegaze haven on Nov. 6

With fans lining West Belmont Avenue outside Schubas Tavern Nov. 6, shoegaze band julie played an impressive set spanning their discography while also integrating performances of unreleased songs.

The night began with the echoey, distorted opening band Blimp. Riling the crowd for the night’s performance, the group played all six of their songs from their June EP “Egg.” Standout song “Believing” generated a raging moshpit, matching the tone julie would soon bring to the stage.

The house lights dimmed soon after Blimp left, and a blue hue flooded the stage as a distorted audio filled the venue. A silence fell over the audience as anticipation built for the California-based group to enter the stage.

The crowd cheered and applauded as all three members of julie appeared onstage. The trio struck their instruments at once, creating a shocking eruption of sound. Dillon Lee, the group’s 22-year-old drummer, went into a frenzy on his drum kit while the other two members, bassist Alex Brady and guitarist Keyan Pourzand, tuned their instruments in distorted chaos.

Dillon Lee, Alex Brady and Keyan Pourzand make up the shoegaze trio, julie. (Ryan Pittman / The Phoenix)

Steadily releasing music since 2020, julie has been ushering in a new age of shoegaze music, which some fans are labeling “nu-gaze.” Shoegaze has been around since the late ‘80s and is rooted in long dragging riffs, looming echoey vocals and exaggerated distortion.

They faded their instrumental opening into the beginning of the first song “lochness” from their 2021 EP “pushing daisies.” The trio had the crowd already moshing, shaking the entire venue.

More distorted sounds of screeching instruments played while they prepared for the next song on the setlist — the fast-paced Sept. 29 release about losing all emotion “catalogue.”

The trio all had their own style while on stage, with Brady in a long baggy gray t-shirt and drooping tan skirt, Lee in a green tactical jacket but later revealing a black t-shirt with the word “zero” on it — a reference to Scott Pilgrim — and Pourzand with a basic gray tee and black pants. 

After exciting the audience with familiar tracks, julie began to play an unreleased song with heavy instrumentation and soft vocals. This continued to gain more excitement from the audience, causing them to once again begin moshing.

Bassist and vocalist Brady started the next song “skipping tiles” by slowly singing the lyrics to the raving crowd.

“He said I’m a work of art / I’ll let you sip down on my heart while I drink nothing / Mark my words again ‘til I find you,” Brady sang.

Audience members continued to push and mosh their way through the pit as the show went on. julie began playing another unreleased song, a slower song harkening back to the sounds of bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Mad Planets.

With a short pause to tune their instruments, the three-piece continued their slow-paced instrumentation into the song “pg. 4 a picture of three hedges,” slowly amping it back up to their normal, fast-paced distortion.

Without pause, they played right into their debut track “Flutter.” The sonically energetic song once again brought the crowd body-to-body in the 400-person venue.

With almost no interaction with the audience, the band kept the entire show somewhat mysterious but still personable as they went into another fast-paced unreleased track.

Singer and guitarist Keyan Pourzand droned out the next song “daisy pusher.”

On their Nov. 6 performance, the group performed several unreleased tracks for the crowd. (Ryan Pittman / The Phoenix)

“Tushy are you like, having the time of your life? / Are you like having all my fun? / I think that Tushy’s gonna be alright,” Pourzand sang.

As they continued on with “Kit” and one final unreleased song, the intensity of the performers and audience rose throughout the night with the moshing getting increasingly more aggressive.

As the fifth stop and sold-out show of their first U.S. tour, julie’s developing impact on the music scene appears tangible, despite not having a full album debut.

julie led directly into the penultimate song of the night — “april’s bloom.” Brady continued to sing unenthusiastically throughout the entire song as the only singer on the track with somewhat monotone vocals.

“Silly Sarah, how you been? / She said ‘I’ve been waiting for a friend / Waiting for a friend that I could call today,’” Brady belted.

Their final performance of the night was “through your window” from the 2022 double single “pg. 4 a picture of three hedges/through your window.” julie now had the audience tense and silent in anticipation of the beat drop of the track with all instruments in controlled chaos.

With the song slowing down, Brady picked up a drum stick and began to hit the strings of her bass.

The song continued on to a thunderous instrumental breakdown, but it seemed as though the focus was on drummer Lee once again as he went into a intense breakdown of his own, using all elements of his kit.

All members began to join in on the chaos, jumping around stage and swinging instruments before dropping them on the floor, throwing picks and drumsticks into the crowd as they walked off stage and exited the venue.

Featured image by Ryan Pittman / The Phoenix

Ryan Pittman

Ryan Pittman