I hate shows when I'm sick. And with the way gas prices are going here in San Diego, I was discouraged from going to the show. But it was my duty to be there and Sparta is good, so I went. This was my first time in Soma. I was surprised at the way the venue looked because it was a lot different than I had expected. It appeared to be an abandoned movie theater, with a few walls knocked out, modified to make a fairly large (small) venue. In the lobby of the venue, there were 2 movie projectors showing the "SnoCore" DVD over and over. There were people skiing, snowboarding, or riding mini stunt bikes. Since I was hanging out solo for most of the night, it was a good way to kill time between sets, and through most of Glass Jaw's set (who I swear played for a thousand years).
The first band Dredg, sucked. Many would disagree, based on the conversations I listened in on while I sat in the lobby through Glass Jaw (I'll get into that in a minute). I can't put it nicely. It was torture to watch the entire set, I should have sat in the lobby, but I guess I was just hoping that they would just play one good song. I am not sure if they do this for all of their performances, but the band decided to do something artsy by putting 2 portraits and a v shaped branch thing on the stage. From my point of view, the painting looked like a 4 armed praying lady and a bird. What their motives were, are beyond me. They filled their music with noisy sounds that just took away from their true music. It annoyed me, and as they continued to bore me, the songs started to blend together and sound like one long song. The lead singer actually sang into a trumpet, into the microphone to get a different effect on his voice. I give him points for creativity but his band still sucked.
I can't write very much about Hot Water Music. This is the 6th time I've seen them, and I've just grown bored of them. If you haven't seen them live yet, then you need to get out of the house more often. This band tours like there is no tomorrow. They're just always here. They put on the typical performance. The same old shit as the last time they were here and I wouldn't be surprised if the set lists were almost identical, because their entry to the stage was (at least based on my jacked memory). And I'm no hater so don't get me wrong, they're good, but I could use a change of pace.
I listened to about 3 songs of Glass Jaw before I realized I just couldn't stand them. They are like a crappy version of Thrice mixed with someone else. That is a bad comparison, I know, but I just couldn't think of who they really sound like. I sat in the lobby for a very long time waiting for them to finish. Just when I thought they were done, they played one more. I thought that it would never stop. It was a shame, I was looking forward to seeing what the hype was all about for this band. Maybe I'm just dumb, but I didn't see anything special about this band. It's unoriginal and boring music. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
Sparta rocks me. I remember the first time I saw them about year and a half ago and they just blew my mind. I knew this band was going somewhere and that I had to see them again. Here was my again, and although I was very sick, and 2/3 of the previous bands were crap, it was worth going down to see them. Sparta is absolutely amazing. They are like a simmered down At The Drive In (possibly due to former members), but better. If you don't have their latest LP Wiretap Scars, then go buy it because it's very inexpensive and worth every penny. If they are coming to a town near you, then go. I don't care what you do, or how you do it, if you haven't heard this band yet, then get on it.
This show gets 5 stars, 4 for Sparta, 1 for Hot Water Music, none for any one else.