I must preface this review by saying this has been the best show I have ever seen in my life.
This was night two of the ride along with Akimbo. I had seen them in Chicago the night before, then stayed with them at a house. After three hours of sleep, we hit the road towards my hometown, Minneapolis. Seven and a half hours later we pulled up to the Dinkytowner and loaded in.
More Material was setting up, and it had been awhile since I'd seen them. Actually, since anyone had seen them. They broke up a while ago, but recently reformed, putting more emphasis on the "noise" part of "noise rock." With the addition of saxophone, violin, and a table of samplers, More Material was ready to rock, or something. They played all new songs, making me want to call them More Material II (like B.A.D. and/or Amon Duul). The drumming now was only in looped patterns, while the guitars were used like the violin and saxophone and electronics to make noise. Think: An ultra-hip Wolf Eyes that digs Suicide and Get Hustle instead of Throbbing Gristle. The set was polished and well-rehearsed, especially since there are still only four members who do all the trading off of instruments. This shit blew me away. It was noise rock with enough structure to keep me interested. More Material II is a big improvment on More Material.
Akimbo played next. Now, the Dinkytowner is small. And Jesus, did they rip. Their performance was dead on, fueled by a lack of sleep and good vibes. They pretty much mimicked their set from the night before, only leaving out "Uranaburg" and adding "Circle Of Hair." Though one guitar player had to leave at 6 in the morning on the day of the show and the rest of the tour would be as a three-piece, no energy was lost on stage. Pat, Jon, and Nat gave it their all, stopping only to adjust the kick drum which had a tendency to hop towards the front of the stage. They played other songs like "Delilah," "Harpoon," and "The Art Of Asphyxiation." They also played the new songs that they played the night before, which are set for a new record due out in February on Alternative Tentacles. I was dying afterwards, but it was cool because the Dinkytowner gives meal tickets to touring bands, and me and Yoni (shit, I hope I spelled his name right, if not, I'm sorry dude), the roadie / merch guy, split a tasty veggie burger.
Next up was a local act that basically surprised everyone. Brucial, a combination of Brutal and Crucial, took the stage as four young looking dudes, two with guitars, one at drums, and one at keys. Out of nowhere, they broke into heavy riff-based metal, akin to the Fucking Champs, only there is one big difference: Brucial is sort of a joke band. Yes, their over the top riffs are, well, so over the top that they can't even help but laugh while paying them. Not to mention the fact that the guitarists tend to high five in the middle of songs. Here's the kicker though: As a joke band, they play metal better than most metal bands I have ever heard in my life. They are technically precise, slamming out power-metal palm-muting and ultra-chug breakdowns. They have doubled guitars and even strings Ă¡ la keys that sometimes function as sub bass. And the drumming was pretty heavy and technical too. It reminded me a lot of listening to DragonForce, only instead of laughing at the band, laughing with the band. Apparently, they don't practice often, and haven't taken themselves too seriously. And that's a good thing.
Lords arrived at the club in the middle of Brucial's set, and they began dragging their equipment down to the venue. And it was a lot. Why? Haven't you ever seen this band live? Jesus. When they set up, their amps covered the entire back wall of the Dinkytowner. No joke. About 4 Marshall stacks for the guitar and two bass cabs. They ripped songs straight out of their upcoming August Jade Tree release, Swords. They also ripped songs from last year's The House that Lords Built. All in all, they blew me away and l was begging for more when they ended. They played a short set when I saw them in Minneapolis over the summer, and I was pining for a longer one. After the show, when I finally met the band, guitarist Chris remembered talking to me after the Minneapolis show, and drummer Stan remembered that I called him a Neanderthal in the review of that show, and bassist Tony is new to the band so he didn't know anything about me. In summation, they were some of the nicest guys I've met, along with Akimbo, and also rock harder than anything I've ever heard, along with Akimbo.
The next day Akimbo and I grabbed some grub with 3/4 of More Material (whose place we crashed at) at the Hard Times CafĂ©, then headed down to the Quad Cities for a show there that I had to miss due to having to high tail it to Chicago for a final. All in all, this experience was one of the greatest I've had in my life, capped off with the greatest show in my life. And I'd like to thank everyone I've met while having this amazing opportunity: Akimbo and Yoni, for agreeing to let a gushing fanboy hop into their van, Scott and Cara for being so accomodating, Conifer for being rad dudes, Francisco for making conversation with a lame twenty-year-old kid such as myself, Lords for being a bunch of rad dudes and rocking out so hard, the guys in More Material and the subsequent Minneapolis crew for being awesome people and letting us crash, and to anyone else that I've somehow forgotten. Thanks again to everyone for everything.