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Macrock 2005: live in Harrisonburglive in Harrisonburg (2005)
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Contributed by: colincolin
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Before I begin the review, I'll say this: I might not have, and probably didn't, see your favorite band. Macrock, to me, leads itself to a multitude of very important aspects of the punk community - only one of which is the music. The panels, the label expo, the community as a whole - these were all.
Before I begin the review, I'll say this: I might not have, and probably didn't, see your favorite band. Macrock, to me, leads itself to a multitude of very important aspects of the punk community - only one of which is the music. The panels, the label expo, the community as a whole - these were all very important parts of the event (if not even more important than the bands.)
Heading over to Captain Tee's for the rest of the night was amazing. This place was one building and had all of the following inside: stage, party / band rooms, McDonalds-esque playplace, slot machines, skeeball, salad bar, giant robot, full arcade, mini-golf, air hockey, and a hot dog / pizza / greaseburger stand. It was such a fucked up yet totally amazing place to have a show. Upon arriving we caught the end of Gospel, which sounded just like really good, slower hardcore. Highly recommended. Ghengis Tron came on with a three-piece mix of techno and hip-hop beats with a drum machine, an insanely good metal guitarist, and some screamo mixed in to boot. While the mix was eclectic, diverse, and pushing the limits of music, some of it didn't fit well together (as with most experimental acts). However, these kids seemed young and I bet with a little bit of work on how melody and harmony can work together, as well as a lesson in breakdowns, they'd do something extraordinary. Definite points for amazing guitar work.
Chromolodeon. Wow. Just...it's hard to take these kids seriously, but at the same time, it's hard not to. Six kids, obviously influenced by many, many hours in front of a Nintendo, played instrumental rock fused with the Japanese video game theme song sound that was just so outlandish, yet so well-executed, it has to be heard to be apprecaited. It's really hard to write a review of this band in particular because they had such an odd approach to music - instrumental rock/metal/hardcore approach to the days of Konami and the Sega Genesis. With a very well-mixed live show consisting of two keyboardists, two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer, the band would be playing loops of old 8 and 16 bit video games projected behind them while rocking. It truly was amazing, and I hope these guys get some good recognition.
Racebannon I did not care for. The vocals were inaudible, and while some songs were well-constructed musically, they all began to bleed together in a drone of "metal for metal's sake" and not "metal for music's sake." If that sounds pretentious, it kind of is, but I don't like sitting through acts that seem to not be at least putting any effort in to doing something new or different with their sound.
Due to being super behind schedule, USA Is A Monster began playing right as Racebannon ended, except at the back of the room. This allowed for Racebannon to break down and Circle Takes The Square to set up during the 20-minute set. I didn't pay attention much to USAIAM due to the fact I wanted to hold my place up front for Circle, but from what I heard they weren't the type of band I'd be interested in. More eclectic and spastic heavy rock that I really don't feel like I should review to a large extent since I wasn't paying direct attention.
Circle Takes The Square seems to be the 'it' band these days. Every time I've seen them, from basements and house shows here in Savannah to Macrock last year...these three (now four) have totally torn shit up. This show was no different. The band stormed through a good majority of their new disc, excluding only the 10-minute epic "Kill The Switch" (which, despite many requests, was never played). The crowd not only got involved (something that hadn't happened at any band yet throughout the two days), but they were furious. Stage diving, crowd surfing, taking elements of that playplace-like construction and throwing them around. The energy was incredible, and, as always, Circle stole the show.
Nevertheless, An Albatross rounded out the night with a fantastic display of spastic, energetic, loving, community-building, yet half-naked rock that exemplified what just good fun times should be. While I still do not consider myself of the Lazer Viking clan, I stood in awe and watched the frenetic display of complete adoration between fan and musician. Even though the band talked about it, you could tell that they were totally focused on having an amazing time and just being with friends, and having a fucking positive experience. It was an incredible ending to a great night at the conference.
So, Macrock came and went and I now have to return to Virginia in June for my court date. I guess there was a huge problem with the school (James Madison University) not giving any funding to the program, and I'd like to take this time to say that this sort of thing is imperative to the future of the indepenent music scene. While it's always fun to see a bunch of bands, the speakers and labels that round out the conference experience are just as necessary. I really hope Macrock continues in the future, because this year it almost didn't happen.
Oh, and if you were there, I was the tall skinny asshole in the pink / reddish hair. Say hi.
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