I took all day off of work to attend this show, so I had high hopes. After spending the day around the city, I was tired, hot (it was 92 with 88% humidity), sweaty, and a bit jazzed from the iced coffee I downed trying to beat the heat. So you can imagine how I felt when I walked into the Triple Rock and saw no one else there. People eventually showed up, but I expected a much bigger crowd since Black Cross released "Art Offensive" on Equal Vision, and J.Robbins produced it. Those are two big names, but I guess the show was just thrown together a few days ago.
First up was a band called Liquid Sun. They sounded like Lostprophets or Hoobastank. Some shitty nü-metal band trying to ride the emo wave. Everything about them was shitty and cliché, except for their musicianship. They are just begging to get signed to a major label and exploit their sound, and have the talent to do so. They even had a fat bass player with dreads singing harmonies. Lame.
Next up was Lousiville's Lords. I had gotten their CD and really liked it. I didn't know how they were going to sound live though, and was a bit nervous that it wouldn't rock very hard. Well, first up, the drummer set up his kit and completely hammered on it for a warm up. We were convinced (plus he looked sorta like a Neanderthal, which is always a good sign for a hardcore drummer). After they set up two huge stacks for the guitars (Marshalls on top of some Gibson huge amps [I don't know the size, but they were massive set ups]), it became apparent that there was only one guitar player for those four amplifiers. Holy shit. We're talking stadium sized rock. The bass player had a pretty respectably sized rig, but bass plays a very minor roll in this band. For the next 20 minutes, Lords blasted us with crazy metal riffs, vocal-chord shredding screams, earth-quaking drumming, and fuzzed out beyond all belief bass. I was completely aurally raped. They kept it short, loud, fast, and in your fucking face. They also told a story about how they played a show in a mansion with a poolhouse, and how one of their friends wrote "Fuck You Rich Bitch" in his own feces in her bathroom because the owner was not being nice. In short, you need to see this band live.
Black Cross had big shoes to fill. And I think they filled them pretty well. They have a very distinctive bass tone, and it was duplicated perfectly live (which made me happy). Although I didn't care for the singer's stage antics (he was doing weird stuff with his hands, jumped into the crowd of like 20 people, ran around a lot), they sufficiently rocked all twenty of us with their Black Flag inspired hardcore/punk. I felt bad for these guys. They hung a banner behind their drums, and have a very large crowd stage presence that seems out of place with so few people. Their guitar player made a speech thanking us all for coming out, and saying that he didn't care that so few made it to the show, as long as someone appreciates their music, but I could tell he was let down at the turnout.
Finally, More Material took the stage. Now, I've been a fan of Colin Johnson's old band "The Killing Bottle" ever since I head them. I thought they were the most underrated band in Minneapolis, and they had a short life due to personal differences. This would be my first time hearing More Material live, even though they have three songs available online here. They are a four-piece based in Minneapolis that consists of bass, guitar, keys, and drums. It's almost impossible to describe their sound, but I'll try. Imagine extremely complicated jazz inspired drum lines that are repeated in various time signatures. Now add jangling, dissonant guitar riffs and chords, amazingly complimentary bass lines, and key lines that seem like they would fit a synth-pop group. Trade off screaming and shouting and talking vocals, add a dash of hardcore, a pinch of dance-beats, and a handful of extended noise-freak out sessions. Besides all of this, add some of the best written lyrics I've ever heard and you have a complete package that blows me away. Their sound is absolutely revolutionary and new, and I can't think of anything that sounds like it. You really have to go here to even try to comprehend what I'm talking about. And then you'll have to see them live, if at all possible.
All in all, this was the absolute best show I've ever seen in a long time, and I found myself enraptured by all three latter bands. Black Cross and Lords are on tour, so check them out when they come to your town.