These Arms Are Snakes Live Show Review

It’s official: These Arms Are Snakes’ frontman Steve Snere is my favorite frontman.

Simultaneously goofy and raw, Snere is the kind of guy you might think would run out of signature moves — he has so many, after all — but on this evening in Washington, D.C., far away from where I usually catch them near their home in the Pacific Northwest, Snere proved that he can always crank out a fresh batch of onstage moves.

2009 September 29 @ DC9, Washington DC

Surprisingly firing off the set with the organ-heavy “Idaho” from their first full-length, Oxeneers Or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home, TAAS played to a small crowd in Washington, D.C.’s DC9, a venue and bar with an intimate upstairs performance space. As usual, they played cohesively and hard, running through a healthy diversity of tracks from all of their releases, leaving everyone completely captivated in their destructive wake. In general, the crowd responded well, with some individuals full out stomping and thrashing, causing the floorboards to shake in time with their headbangable beats.

Snere himself got off to a shaky start, prancing around a bit awkwardly at the beginning of “Idaho.” After getting into a groove, though, he evolved into the unpredictable Snere that showgoers love so much. In addition to his staple moves, which include spitting into the air, feeling down his pants, wrapping microphone cords around his head, choking himself with his belt, squabbling around like a crab, and climbing on ceiling beams, Snere introduced sashaying moves that were borderline sophisticated, and not completely out of place for someone like a matador or champion tango dancer to do.

On this particular night, Snere’s getting into the groove also resulted in the destruction of two microphones by way of Snere’s flailing limbs — happenings which he became clearly frustrated about. But even Snere’s frustration is comical; he spoke more than I’ve ever heard him speak during a show, and in a dry, sarcastic manner, he completely defused the seriousness of the technical problems and just completely went forth with an admirable “fuck it” attitude.

TAAS never fail to bring the chaos in their live shows, and while it is Snere who ultimately captures the majority of the attention, the band as a whole is just as tight as ever.


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

View all articles
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
13 years ago

That video is the song “Ethric Double”, not “Child Chicken Play”.

Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x