Monday, July 2, 2007

Melt Banana, Vile Blue Shades, Agape: Live at the Urban Lounge 6/30/07

Show In Review
It’s Monday morning and I think my ears are still ringing from going to Melt Banana at the Urban Lounge on Saturday, June 30th.

The already exciting headliner was paired with equally exciting local openers, Agape and the quickly-becoming-legendary Vile Blue Shades. For me this would be a first time experience seeing all three acts. We arrived shortly Agape’s opening scorcher. A one man eardrum destroyer, Agape provided screechingly distorted feedback and screaming vocals to a surprisingly danceable beat with piano embellishments. Think Prurient remixed by !!! or The Sounds? However you want to attempt to describe it, Agape was incredibly, danceably abrasive and impossible to ignore.

Vile Blue Shades followed. Considering the veritable years of live shows I have attended in Salt Lake City it is difficult to understand how I have successfully avoided seeing Vile Blue Shades live. Having had their live sets praised numerously by several friends I felt that now was a good time finally see the allstar Salt Lake City behemoth. They did not disappoint. Carrying approximately 300 drummers, 400 guitarists and 500 additional members of standard rock instrumentation, Vile Blue Shades barely left enough legal capacity in The Urban Lounge for spectators. Exaggerations aside, Vile Blue Shades’ (sometimes unnecessary) 11 members (small by Polyphonic standards) packed a cocky punch. Reeling through a drunken barrage of desert rock, Vile Blue Shades owned the crowd, moving feet at their whimsy.

Following the truly rock antics of the Shades, Melt Banana proceeded to melt brains (and possibly bananas of any attendant vegans munching on a late night potassium binge). The Tokyo foursome shocked and annihilated the remaining brain cells of a very drunken crowd. Careening through a set featuring 10 second grindcore classics from their earliest releases to the more melodic (if melody can even be argued) and experimental escapades from their most recent releases, Melt Banana sent shards of squealing guitar shrapnel spewing out into the crowd backed by pounding bass and Olympic medalist breakneck punk drumming. Melt Banana’s lead singer chirped monotone indecipherables endlessly until everyone appeared deaf. The only downside was that a drink carrying crowd didn’t seem to want move much to the spectacle. I was hoping Melt Banana would generate the first revisit to a mosh pit since my high school days. But it wasn’t to be. While I probably won't be a regular at any future Melt Banana shows, this is a live band that I would recommend to everyone at least once before you die. It is an unduplicated live experience.

-Mr. Thistle

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