The show took place in a quaint art gallery, a small theater with some raised seats and a main floor in front of the stage, which made for some in-between set comfort. Despite some mixing problems, the acoustics worked well for the diverse range of bands playing that night.
Conelrad, a two-piece, guitar'n'drum duo, opened the show, and seemingly dodged genre labeling with every bar. While the guitarist alternated between metal soloing, tech riffs and effects pedal maniuplation as he would occasionally sing in one version of Mike Patton's personality, the drummer would abruptly play spastic and/or grind fills, and scream/sing/mutter into the mic beside him. It was more cohesive than it sounds and a fair aesthetic to get interest rolling.
Set List [from the paper]:
Surprisingly, Hot Cross followed. The last time I'd saw the band, they were opening for Fear Before The March Of Flames, and the set was a bit marred by the band's apparent technique of not replicating ANY of the backup vocals found on their studio recordings. So while I began to think that perhaps they'd learned the set would be more complete with the inclusion of them, Billy Werner, with only three other band members behind him, told the crowd they'd be playing without a guitarist that night (he might've had a reasonable explanation, but if so, I didn't catch it). In spots, the sound was slightly awkward, but the band still played a real solid set, and at least sang the first part of "Eastern Standard Time of the dead!" in "Fortune Teller." The one sole guitarist was just as incredibly accurate on his leads as he was the aforementioned show, and was easily the most energetic of the quartet; you could tell he was having fun, and it made the set that much better. After Billy talked about and criticized the widespread misogynic attitudes present in whichever scene he was referring to, the band played their newest song, "Tacoma," which is set to appear on a charity compilation later this year. For anyone appreciative of the amazing progression the band has gone through in their four albums, "Tacoma" will be, in the least, pretty enjoyable, as it's got dynamic tempo/pace changes, raw ...Lungs-esque takes and a spectacular, clean guitar lead á la "Better A Corpse Than A Nun." The band did a fine job with "Putting The Past Right," "Throw Collars To The Wind," "Finger Redux," and "Lend Me Your Brain (I'm Building An Idiot)" as well.
Set List [from the paper]:
- PRETTY PIC
- PAST RIGHT
If anyone could follow it up, though, it was Melt Banana. Though the vocals were pretty low for most of the set, you could tell that vocalist Yasuko O.'s trademark...whatever you would call it, was reproduced live just the same as on record. And boy, did the crowd eat it up; I wasn't sure that moshing to grind was possible, but it was definitely taking place behind me, and in a very uP the pUnx manner. Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the set was, and how well the band was translating live; their sound flowed extremely well, and O. was rather charming with her broken English. Midway through one song, she brought her furry hippack to her front waist, and started taking out small photograph/mini-postcard type-things, and handing them to the crowd one at a time. At one point in the set, O. said the band would play 10 short songs, and they proceeded to do just that: play 3-8 second-long songs, with short pauses in between only to introduce the titles. They also played a vaguely familiar cover but I couldn't totally place it. Free of a previous personal bias against or for the band, the hour-long set was a treat and capped off the night well.
Pictures from the show, by Meg Reinecker