It was a bit of a debacle. Performing the songs of Joy Division, Moving Units were supposed to perform two sets at The Echo this past Sunday night at Part Time Punks. But with such a high demand, the shows were merged into one performance at the Echoplex, a much bigger venue than the intimate Echo. Doors were supposed to open at 9 p.m. but did not open till past 9:30 p.m. Many people in line were confused about what was going on and kept asking if this show was going to be for both sets.
We were finally let in and opening act Second Still came on at about 10 p.m.. They gave a pretty haunting performance. Second Still front-woman, Suki, had a voice similar to Siouxsie Sioux. Through the crowd, you could hear fans making their own comparison to Siouxsie. One fan even rushed to the stage just to tell her. Second Still had a great sound, but it would have been a far more engaging performance (especially if you’re sounding like Siouxsie Sioux) with a bolder stage presence, perhaps more feeling and movement in the performances. And that goes for Second Still as a whole.
Viktor Fiktion came out next and put on a stellar performance. Fronted by Dave Trumfio, he came out in all black with thick rimmed glasses. Upon first look, we had no idea what to expect form their performance. Once it all started, we were pleasantly surprised. Trumfio’s voice and lyrics had a great edge to them that everyone seems to be into, including myself. After his performance, Trumfio would go on to assist Moving Units on guitar and keys with their Joy Division set.
As the evening’s main event, Moving Units started off with some technical issues. They could not get through the first song before needing to reboot their computer. It was unfortunate, but they quickly got things sorted out it and it was non-stop energy from there on.
Moving Units started off with their own originals and then they ripped right into the songs of Joy Division kicking things off with “Disorder” and ending their set with the iconic “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Moving Untis played roughly nine Joy Division songs in a row. I am a huge Joy Division fan and I often get leary of bands covering Joy Division’s work; however, Moving Units did the influential band well. The show was packed with excitement and Blake Miller most definitely channeled Ian Curtis. It wasn’t just the vocals, it was Miller’s entire presence, state of mind and passion. He truly gave it his all.
It was amazing to see all members of Moving Units on stage just completely into the music. Miller, was very appreciative for all the Joy Division fans that came out so they could hear (and see) Moving Units perform their songs. The crowd happily received their performances with fist in the air, mosh pits and sing-alongs.
Moving Units ended the night playing a few selects from their own catalog. You could tell that they had some loyal fans in the room that didn’t just come for the Joy Division songs.
Photography & Words: Wes Marsala
Written for Grimy Goods, August 10, 2016