By STEPHANIE BREIJO
The surprise at D.C.’s Black Cat last Friday was not the sketchy crowd pacing the streets in an altered state, but the lack of pilgrims outside for the traditional between-band cigarette break after opener Carol Bui cleared the stage. Pash enthusiasts swarmed onto the checkered floor as Mary Washington’s own indie rock quartet played a release show for their second album, “The Best Gun.”
Fans at the D.C. venue packed the low-lit room to hear Pash on the main stage for the first time in two years. Attendees of all types came to dance and dig, some from the band’s Fredericksburg Alma mater, many from the local music scene.
They wanted a dancey, lively show and Pash did not disappoint. From Erik Bruner-Yang’s mid-guitar riffs and Merideth Munoz’s heartfelt vocals to Ryan McLaughlin’s heavy bass lines and Jon Bibb’s rhythmic thrashing, the set was loud, electrifying and a genuine crowd pleaser.
Although Pash had previously played the Black Cat, this energetic performance marked their latest CD release as well as their newfound commitment to the band.
“We’re all really happy with this CD. I think we’re a lot more invested in our stuff now and we’re all putting ourselves into the band a lot more,” said Bibb. “I think that when we’ve played the Black Cat before, we’ve just been an opening band and we really were a main attraction at the [release] show.”
They have been a busy group. Last summer marked their first official tour along the East Coast and they have been meeting and playing with new bands more and more frequently – but still return to give Fredericksburg and Mary Washington students a good live show every once in a while. Things are on the up and up for the group, with a near constant tour schedule and a well-received new album. So what’s in the future for Pash?
“There’ll be more touring, more of us being serious about what we’re trying to do, which is play music that we love and hopefully people will feel the same way,” said McLaughlin. “We’re doing something that we’re really passionate about. What we’re trying to do is just spread our passion around and let people know that this is what we’re doing and this is what we will keep doing.”
Their amped-up tour schedule and dedication have been paying off – last spring saw Pash crowned as third place in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s online battle of the bands.
When Pash arrives in a new town, they sometimes unexpectedly find themselves in the local papers. They get calls from friends and fans about blurbs on Pash in magazines they have never even heard of before. But Pash members remain tethered to their Mary Wash roots, as do their fans.
“It’s been really great to see them grow. I remember seeing them play over in Jefferson [Hall] when we were all still in school,” said Pash fan/UMW alumnus James Osburn. “It’s great to see their career start to take off like this.”
Check out “The Best Gun” for yourself, it is a fun but thoughtful mix of songs with catchy riffs and lyrics that cut to the bone. Take a gander – it will be worth the few bucks on iTunes, and there is nothing cooler than supporting Fredericksburg’s growing music scene.