Cex / Aloha / Weather - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Cex / Aloha / Weather

live in Chicago (2004)

live show

Well, half of you are going to hate me for missing the opening band, and the other half are going to hate me for not staying entirely for the headliner. Well, to be honest, it's just as much the fault of the Blue Line for its schedules as it is mine. But I digress. Let's start from the beginning.

So I missed Weather, which is a shame, since, according to the promo poster for this show that I saw when we were leaving halfway through that Cex posted by the door, Weather is ex-Milemarker. Milemarker was pretty good. Oops. My bad for terrible time management and underestimating the time it takes to ride the Blue Line out to Addison. Yeah, I know. Completely my fault, not the train's fault, blah blah blah. Next.

We arrived just as Aloha was setting up, and that's when I started getting excited. They took a lot of time setting up all their equipment, which included drums, guitar, bass, three keyboards, auxiliary percussion, and vibraphone. They took a long time to get everything precisely how they wanted, but I found out why soon afterwards. See, Aloha has rich layered music with lots of auxiliary percussion and layered melodies. And they didn't miss one thing. They were so precise as to switching instruments in the middle of songs just to get it all to sound right. Amazing. They played one or two songs off of Sugar and then played nearly the entire length of Here Comes Everyone. Seeing them play most of this record live made me bump it up to "Best of 2004" status from the "Honorable Mention" status that it currently resided at. Take that, Velvet Teen. You're not as special anymore.

Then it was time for Cex. Now, I knew he wasn't going to be rapping in a dress and combat boots with an iBook anymore, but I guess not a lot of people did. Or maybe they just have never heard of Cex before. Either way, people were getting confused when a girl came on stage with a bass that had a stick shoved up its ass, was filed down on the top of its body, and only had two strings. She was holding it like an upright bass, and played it with a bow, too. Cale Parks from Aloha sat down at the drums for Cex. And, well, Cex himself had a huge rig of pedals, effects, samplers, and synths. And he proceeded to play the craziest experimental electronica I've heard in a long time. I guess it sounded a lot like Wolf Eyes if Wolf Eyes was instead melodic instead of screamy. I thought it was really good and interesting to say the least, especially seeing it live, but my girlfriend had a killer headache, so in her best interest we left early. Okay, I'm lying. I just didn't want to make her sit through it because I could tell she wasn't enjoying it. It's some weird shit.

So yeah. The score is mostly for Aloha, who killed it. Killed it dead.