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Moving Mountains / Trophy Scars: live in Brooklynlive in Brooklyn (2009)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Diverse lineups are awesome when they actually have good bands. You put a mosh-metal band on the same bill as a nü-emo band, yeah, it's diverse, but the show will probably still be shitty, and that's why people are complaining. But having a show with poppy, progressive melodic hardcore kids Transit, experimental, bluesy post-hardcore act Trophy Scars and emo post-rockers Moving Mountains? That's more along the lines of an ideal, impressive and diverse lineup.
I was definitely looking forward to seeing Trophy Scars. The last time they were supposed to play Brooklyn, they were splitting a van with reunited screamo act the Saddest Landscape on the way to The Charleston when the thing broke down and the show's main draw was null and void. Consequently, this was my first time seeing them since a Warped Tour appearance roughly five years ago. I was a little disappointed when frontman Jerry Jones told the crowd they were going to try to play as much of their new album, Bad Luck, as possible in their given time slot (a first for the band). I cautiously like the album, but I definitely wanted to hear a variety of stuff from their ever-increasing discography (which tops out at two EPs and three full-lengths, now). Can't fault a band for wanting to play new stuff, though, I suppose.
The three guitars they used created a pastiche of ever-noodling, competing layers that put a progressive cacophony over the entire set. However, it really drowned out Jones' vocals -- you could barely make out his words and the music was too clustered to be as dynamic and genre-bending as Bad Luck's studio versions were. Therefore, half the songs were pretty difficult to recognize, even though the set had a nice lineal flow about it. I can't be certain, but it also seemed like Jones chose to use his aggressive, gravelly Tom Waits delivery for just about the entire set -- again, though, it was hard to tell since I could barely hear him. I could only guess that "Bad Winter" and "Geneva" was played late in the set, since the band was definitely going through Bad Luck one track at a time from "Bad Dreams" to "Anna Lucia." I was hoping for one or two of my favorite old jams (particularly Hospital tracks) to break things up a bit, but oh well. I *think* that might've been a super old song they closed with -- "A Beauty Like Scissors (Shine On, Bleach Off)" -- since it had some "la la"s in it and that's only the Trophy Scars song I can think of or find that has 'em. Anyway, the set was still pretty good, and a personal friend who'd previously stated "I fucking hate that band" later told me "they were pretty fucking good."
Set list (10:15-10:52):
I was a little surprised to see how few people in attendance visibly recognized the songs, or at least showed an emotional reaction, but the crowd was a decently sizable one at least.
The one nagging quality was how surprisingly short the set was. A post-rock band playing under a half-hour? When they're headlining? It was later explained to me that the lighting changes were programmed into the laptop for just those four songs. Understandable, yet a little silly at the same time -- c'mon guys, at least throw in one more straight through with the lights off or something, maybe in the middle to have a symmetrical set. I doubt anyone would mind either way.
Set list (11:12-11:38):
With One's Heart in One's Mouth (shot by Justin Neiser)
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