Rats, bomb shelters and museums. It doesn’t get more D.C. than that.
Eyelids vocalists/guitarists Chris Slusarenko and John Moen and bassist Victor Krummenacher know the culture well. In anticipation of their March 26 show at Comet Ping Pong, the three reminisced about the times they have performed and been in the D.C. area. These included a trip to the Museum of Medical Oddities and watching a man aim at rats with a wrist rocket. Another favorite memory was of a man collecting donations for George Clinton’s bomb shelter in case of the nuclear apocalypse.
Slusarenko mused about how D.C.’s crowds fit well with the Portland-based band’s persona.
“The shows just always end up weird. Something unexpected always happens at every one,” he said, adding, “I just feel like they appreciate the kind of uncertainty of what our shows will bring.”
Saturday night’s performance was part of the East Coast leg of Eyelids’ Accidental Falls tour, named after their 2020 album. The tour, originally slated for that year, was postponed due to COVID-19. Slusarenko said that each city originally planned for the tour was included in its revival, which began last fall. It is an opportunity the band are not taking for granted.
“We played a bit last year down the west coast and one show in New York with The Dream Syndicate and it was very emotional to see people being masked. They were vaccinated so we could do our thing and it was very meaningful because we miss it,” he said.
The band decided early on into the pandemic that they didn’t want to do virtual concerts or produce an album on the internet. Instead, they focused on writing and supporting each other as they waited for the chance to perform live again. The wait paid off with a jam-packed 2022 that includes tour stops in Canada and the Midwest in June, as well as a new album in the fall.
While the pressure of a rescheduled tour coupled with high post-pandemic expectations can be overwhelming at times, band members are happy to be on the road again.
“I think because of the craziness of the world and the uncertainty of it, we realize it’s a luxury and we’re lucky,” said Krummenacher. “We still want to play. There’s still a reason to do it.”
The band’s 17th LP is slated to come out in October. It’s the first featuring Krummenacher as bassist after joining the band last year. Though the upcoming album reflects the band members’ experiences throughout the past two years, Moen doesn’t consider it a pandemic record.
“I definitely wouldn’t classify it that way, but we’re also in kind of a strange place of really coming out to tour the previous record because we didn’t get to play it for anybody.”
As for bringing their music back to a city known for its riveting human and rodent characters, the band were pretty enthusiastic.
“People in D.C. have shown up and declared that they are ready to have a good time,” said Moen, “and that’s all any band could ask for.”