Monday, July 9, 2007

Battles @ The Urban Lounge 7/7/07

Show In Review
I have grown even more in love with Mirrored since my reivew, and I was very much looking forward to seeing it being played live. I think I was more excited for this show than I had been for any other show this year. All week I had been imagining "Race In" being played and how excited I would be. Then, it was Saturday, it was here. The Urban Lounge was packed, it being Will Sartain's birthday show and all. I can't say I paid a whole lot of attention to openers, The Future of The Ghost, and The Tremula- I was too anticipatory. Mr. Thistle seemed to really enjoy the reformed Tremula. The bits that I did pay attention to sounded a bit like At The Drive-In to me. The crowd really loved it. After they played, Battles sound checked for what seemed like a full decade then began playing-oh man, this was it! Oh wait, they totally slaughtered their album. It was like minimalized Mirrored, and maybe it was because I was expecting too much, but I was ultimately disappointed and would have been happier listening to their masterpiece album alone in my car. The sound levels sucked, which is weird, since they brought their own sound guy. Tyondai Braxton's guitar was completely drowning out Ian Williams, which removed all the subtle interesting undertones of the songs and placed in the forefront just the decoration. Most of the main substance was totally overpowered, and they stretched out every loop to about 16 measures longer than it is on the album, making it fairly boring. Maybe if I didn't have every count of the album memorized and had been expecting to hear it that way I would have been impressed, but it just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. Overall, their album is still in my top 5 releases of the year thus far, but I could have passed seeing them live.


Thought I would add a little addendum here to kind of flesh out the openers minutely. I have seen The Future of the Ghost (who played first) 3 times now and I think they are getting a bit tighter each time I see them. Really good energetic post punk/pop rock vibes. I definitely think that if they keep progressing that they can become an important part of SLC music. As for The Tremula…wow! I remember exactly why I am in love with these guys. The played an absolutely powerful set of abrasive, experimental post punk exorcisms. Amazing drumming (of whom the member had flown in for the show I’m told) and awesome interplay between the dual guitar and bass onslaught. I miss music like theirs. I think the landscape of music is really absent of this kind of wonderfulness. I sincerely hope that this little one off reunion inspires The Tremula’s members to reconsider their retirement. Battles were definitely good as well but I can understand Sassigrass being let down considering her love for the album. It must be hard to evolve the songs as quickly in a live setting with the amount of looping being had. Battles were solid though. Just not quite the energy of what we love from their album.

-Mr. Thistle

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