I really like Do
Make Say Think. I have been listening to them for many years,
and i thoroughly enjoy their albums. In the many years i have
been listening to them, this is the first time they have ventured
down south for a performance. So i was looking forward to this
show enough to drag myself and Tracers out to the smoky, beer-soaked,
yet familiar, confines of The EARL on a school night.
The club was really moving things along tonight. There was
only one opener, and they played on the side stage, leaving
the main stage set up for DMST. The opening band was called
Blame Game, and apparently involved a former member of Ocelot.
They went on around 10, and played a half hour set of mathy
emo. The vocals were screamed, and the guitars were loud and
playing harder riffs. In the middle of their set, they performed
a few tunes that reminded me more of Hood
than of Slint. These songs
featured discordant rhythms and abstract, minimalist melodies.
That was the highlight of their set for me, as otherwise they
were a somewhat normal emo act. Not bad, really.
the stage at 11:15, which left time for a rather long intermission
between bands. I don't know what the deal was. Perhaps they
were waiting for a larger crowd. Indeed, The EARL was practically
empty compared to last Saturday
night's post-rock show. Personally, i think that DMST
are far more talented than Explosions
in the Sky, but not as many people came out to see this
show, perhaps because it was a Tuesday. Still, it was a decent
sized crowd for a Tuesday evening.
DMST performed as
a 6 piece. There were two drummers and four frontmen. Each of
the guys in front played various instruments, trading off as
necessary. Bass, guiar, keyboards, trumpet, and sax all were
played by various individuals at various times. The sound was
okay but not specatcular, which was very silly because they
band brought its own sound guy to do the mix. The low end came
across very clearly, and the two drum kits were very well mic-ed.
However, the guitar was too low, and the subtler moments on
some of the songs got lost in the general conversational haze
of the audience. That really annoyed me. I love the subtle and
intricate things this band does with melodic interplay, and
often i could not hear it that well. Disappointing, but this
is a common problem with that type of subtle music done live.
emphasized their last few albums, playing only a few tunes i
recognized from early in their catalog. I would describe their
live sound as Tortoise meets
Mogwai. That is, there are
amazingly complex rhythmic things going on, and the melody ebbs
and flows in front of the rhythms. Now that i think about it,
this description pretty much works for their recorded output
Overall, i must admit i was somewhat disappointed by this show. i did enjoy
seeing them, but there just seemed to be many difficulties in
translating the recorded DMST
experience into a form that worked in front of a crowd. In all
honesty, i think that they need to work on their live show more.
Or just stick to recording, which is fine with me.
I suppose that if you are a fan, like myself, you will be able to find moments of pure aural ecstasy in the show, but otherwise i don't really think it comes across all that well live. And that is disappointing in a way. Oh well.