Liturgy - When I last saw this four-piece at the DC9, I was impressed with the band's fascinating controlled thrash metal drone style. But what really stood out was the drummer with his speed and nimble movements. Fellow blogger Michael Darpino mentioned that when he first saw them, that was what really impressed him as well. And now, Greg Fox is making one of his final appearances on drums with the band. I learned this recently when the New York Times ran a feature story on Greg Fox. Apparently he will be doing electronica and drum for another band. If he was only doing electronica, I would be disappointed as his drumming skills are too good to go to waste (remember what happened to a great drummer named Phil Collins). But we shall see where he is headed down the road. For now, Liturgy did a smoking half-hour set complete with chant vocal loops recreating their twist on a Gregorian chant. Sheets of metal from the two guitars and bass with screechy vocals and those wonderful drums all came together with various tones and overtones like some unholy alliance between Opeth and the early Meat Puppets after attending a few lectures from Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. I hope the band continues on. I don't envy the task of the new drummer, but these guys manage a great control of an intriguing sound, so it will likely continue to be a powerful set.
Asobi Seksu - This New York band (who wisely changed their name from Spotfuck) has been around a little longer than I expected. It was nice to catch up with them as they delivered an enjoyable 47-minute set tonight. They have a female vocalist who has some keys/electronics she uses regularly. After that, it is the usual guitar, bass, drums setup. They look like a favorite of mine, SF's Lovelikefire, and have a little bit of the same sound, although there is a striking difference within this band. The trio plays a powerful shoegaze sound that really roars up a storm. The singer has a dreamier pop style that contrasted nicely and was more starkly varied than other bands of this style. It all worked well enough tonight and for those that were not sure what slot to fit this band into, a Jesus and Marychain cover told the rest of the story. They struggled a bit with the sound and had to take a long time for a sound and line check (see below) as there were some setup problems tonight with the doors opening only just before the show was due to start.
Boris - I suppose I should not worry about Michio Kurihara (Ghost) showing up to assist on guitar with the three members of Boris as he seems to do it every time, but he did have some Visa problems that prevented him from playing with Damon & Naomi the last time through. He's here, so the line-up is complete. They have a two new discs out (one heavy, one light, although lines are blurred of course) and they played a nice selection from the new along with plenty of the old. And now the simple statement on this show... I believe this may be all the proof I need to say that this is the best live band anywhere. I like a ton of bands, but this band takes their very good records and brings them up to ridiculously high levels of volume, intensity, and passion when they hit the stage. They mix their styles so well and do not shy away from blasting away at a total drone for several minutes of their ninety minute set. The guitar sounds contrast nicely with Wata's deeply imbedded rhythms setting up Kurihara's wah-wah workout. And Takeshi's double necked axe featuring bass and guitar is there to add a third guitar when desired. They take a low key approach aside from Atsuo's crazy fun drummer personality which is a nice spicy addition. The lighting is excellent with dramatic back lighting and side lighting used more than spots. There is plenty of smoke and the effect is so much better than most bands. But the music is a beast all its own, yet somehow they harness it just enough to control the chaos and present the magic to the large club crowds. Simply not to be missed.
Quote of the Night: From the singer for Asobi Seksu after some annoying feedback... "Can we please make that stop. Please, it's very painful." Thankfully it only happened a couple times that I noticed, but I appreciate the effort. Loud is wonderful, but some sounds are truly painful.