One of the great things about going to a Sunday evening show is the early start time. Well, i guess that is great for me, since i have to go home after the show. I bet it sucks for the bands, who find themselves just off work (and no doubt kind of wired after performing) in a Bible Belt city that is basically shut down...
Huh. The price they pay for stardom i guess. Call it payback for not having to sit in an office for 40 hours a week...
Anyway, we got to The EARL at 8:30 or so and were soon joined by Becky and Jon, a youngish couple we know. They were there to see the middle act, who Tracers and i had never heard of.
Jon commented that there were three sound systems set up, four if you included the meagre setup for Ed Schrader's Music Beat. That was one sound system too many, which seemed a little confusing. But it's the EARL, so who knows...
At about 9 a band took the side stage at The EARL, back in the corner next to the sound booth, using Sound System number 1. They played mostly in the dark -- 19 minutes of non-stop, very fast noise punk. The vocalist screamed, the guitars were a blur of distortion, and the rhythm flew by.
Apparently, the band is called Bataille, and there is at least one other band with that name easily located via Google Search. That's a little confusing... Digging around on their FB page i discovered that the current name is a shortened form of Georges Bataille Battle Cry, which is honestly a better name. I wonder why they changed it?
Anyway, this was a glorious, although brief performance. It was loud, noisy, distorted, and disorienting. It was an all-out assault that happened so fast it was almost over before you were really aware of it.
Very cool. I enjoyed their 19 minutes a lot.
The second act, the one our young friends were there to see, well, they were something else.
The band was one guy with a floor tom, a mic, and several distortion pedals, and another guy with a bass and a bunch of pedals. Their music was off kilter in a vaguely confrontational way -- Ed Schrader (the dude with the floor tom apparently) screamed and shouted and often looked like he was about to pop a blood vessel. The other guy, Devlin Rice, looked like he spent too much of his youth with a bong and a DVD of This is Spinal Tap.
Musically they were interesting. Ed beat his drum and sang, bellowed, and/or screamed while Devlin played through distortion. Some of their songs were very tongue in cheek. They did little skits between songs, like singing King of the Road or reciting dialog from Jabba's Palace in Return of the Jedi.
I enjoyed it okay, although the shticky comedic nature of what they were doing would run a little thin after a while, i think. i have a low tolerance for comedy music through, so your mileage may vary. Still, not awful.
Our friends headed out to prep for day jobs in the Science Industry, and we stood around waiting. Fortunately A Place To Bury Strangers did not keep us waiting long.
From the start, they were on. The three-piece band just tore into it, the bass carrying the melody, the drums almost mechanical, the guitar a wall of distortion, and the voice a deep echo reverbing through the EARL.
They played for 30 minutes or so of sheer noisy energetic bliss.
And then the drummer got up and went to the bonus 4th sound system on the floor and set up. The bassist wandered down and joined him, and the guitarist came over, plugged in, and made noise.
They played 4 songs there, against the wall, on the floor surrounded by their fans. It was really cool -- they were loud and noisy and getting in to it, and the people pressed up around them were bouncing around while filming with their phones.
I really enjoyed this night, a lot.