It was a harrowing, crushing disappointment when I found out Hot Cross would be breaking up and immediately pulling off their tour dates with Fear Before the March of Flames, but with two other rather mesmerizing acts still on the lineup, the show was sure to be far from terrible.
This Will Destroy You quietly took the stage to play some not-as-quiet, cascading instrumentals. These poor guys probably can't get through a review without a comparison to their fellow Texans, but it's pretty warranted: Live, the band was essentially an "American Pie"-ified version of Explosions in the Sky -- they reach their climaxes much faster. Or for a cleaner labeling, think Explosions in the Sky: The Cliff Notes. While the stage left and right guitarists tended to calmly sit to weave their atmospheric riffs, the bassist in the middle throbbed and shook and showed serious energy for the songs' durations. Devastating similarities aside, they squeezed five or six beautiful and arresting songs (all or most likely being from their 2006 full-length, Young Mountain -- review coming soon) into their 32-minute set that definitely impressed me.
YouInSeries' first full-length, Outside We Are Fine, was less than impressive, and the songs don't fare entirely better live. The band has enough energy, sure, but the lead singer's stage presence seemed derivative of Cove Reber's and the songs sound even more like second-rate Circa Survive throwaways as they fail to achieve that epic, bold soundscape Circa's mastered. The new song doesn't exactly depart all that far from Outside's main stylistic base, but with some minor tinkering their eventual sophomore full-length could prove to be an improvement.
Set list (8:24-8:50):
- Lose Faith in the Truth
- Outside We Are Fine
- new song
- Get Comfortable Not Knowing
- The Watcher
- Often Too Much Thomas Kincade
With 65daysofstatic yet to have arrived at the venue, Fear Before then took the stage with some multi-colored flashing light setups to the sides. After a brief instrumental version of "Absolute Future," the band surprisingly tore into "The 20th Century Was Entirely Mine" -- I honestly didn't think they'd really touch their first album at all, but it was a pleasant surprise since I still enjoy it considerably. The crowd looked to be stoked too, as the band had a tight-knit, small gathering up front going off for them. Quite honestly the set list found the band spanning their entire discography well, playing one more from Odd How People Shake
, a good handful from Art Damage
(most of which were its standouts thankfully, but no "Hey Kid, I'm a Computer...," which was disappointing) and obviously the most from last year's The Always Open Mouth
. It was a little discouraging to see the band relying much more on their overall heavy base and David Marion's ferocious, gravelly growl rather than the entertaining, bold eccentricities that made up both Mouth
and the last time I'd seen the band
, but one supposes they were weird enough. Overall, it wasn't exactly as stunning and epic as one had imagined, but Fear Before still put on an energetic set with consistent crowd involvement (and a prolonged headstand by Marion in one song for good measure).
- Absolute Future [shortened, vocal-less]
- The 20th Century Was Entirely Mine
- Should Have Stayed in the Shallows
- Whiskey Is Alright in Its Place, But Its Place Is in Hell
- ? (Possibly a shortened, vocal-less "Absolute Past" without its outro)
- Taking Cassandra to the End of the World Party
- The Waiting Makes Me Curious
- Epic Song (?)
- Drowning the Old Hag
- The Story of the Curious Oysters
- High as a Horse
- What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas
It was exciting to get to see 65daysofstatic knowing the next time they'd be in New York City, it would be at Madison Square Garden with the Cure, as opposed to a tiny bar in a homey, Polish area of Brooklyn. While they only provided the delighted crowd with a 26-minute set after their brand new drum kit broke about three or four songs in, it was a treat. The band play a type of heavily electronic-accompanied post-rock/experimental with a constant rush of billowing, metallic and spacey chords, pushed along by human percussion work and programmed drums so lightning fast it sounds like trip-hop. Half the band's set list followed this formula and those songs were incredible to watch and listen to unfold -- the band took what already sounded like the song's prolonged climax into further climactic territory, simply building on top of the rush of noise and what one would figure to be eventually collapsing soundspheres. However, the other songs were no slouchers; one built slightly more typical crescendos with beautiful, rippling sounds awash atop. All the members would pulsate and thump in time with the songs and their instruments, giving an active visual ingredient to the aural cacophony. Despite the brevity of their appearance, 65days definitely made the show.
There are lot of dates left on this diverse, well-rounded jaunt, so it's definitely recommended to get out and check out what's in store.