I thought it would get better. Give it a little time. Sit back and let it age and maybe it would seem less like a waste of time. or at least less disappointing. or a whole let less annoying. but it's been awhile now, and it hasn't gotten any better, even sitting in the rear view mirror for a month. i'm pretty sure i can say The Big Pink stink.
First Ave, march 18, 2010. I was pretty excited for this show. Stumbled across A Brief History of Love last summer and i played it to death during the SoDak trip. Poppy, with a little (more than a little) touch of the jesus and mary chain, echo and new order (hell...pretty much every 80's band i loved). I was kinda bummed that i missed the November show. So here was my chance, and.....meh.
Too much bombast, flash and showmanship. Bombast i could kinda see (Slight Case of Overbombing anyone) But damn, this disc has some great songs on it. Lets see a little something different live, right? No. Album arrangments was all we got. Dialed up to 12.
Maybe i'm just partial to the just let the songs play themselves and lets not jump on any speakers philosophy. But it all seemed too much. And Guitar Solos? against a wall of sound production? probably not so much. unless you are full of yourselves. (but at least they were having fun, weren't they?)
Hopefully they learn that sometimes maybe a little restraint lets it all show through that much more. and they have some lovely slower songs (love in vain and crystal visions come to mind) that would sound great with the feedback and mix dialed down to give the show some texture. didn't happen.
Everything was mid tempo drunken lurch songs, everything was set against the limit. It was ALL spinal tap levels with even Velvet and Dominoes getting lost in a sludge of noise. and played as if they were trying to make it all melt. (don't get me wrong, i like my noise, but i'd sorta like some dynamic range too, isn't that was makes My Bloody Valentine so amazing?) i'm sure the drunk girls a row in front of us loved it, but me? not so much.
and pacing didn't save them either. i don't know why bands plunk a bunch of slow songs in the middle of their set. the guys are high on something, right? they really shouldn't need a break and and sure as heck destroys any momentum they had going. give me a slow one to open the show, give me a slow one before the encore. save the rest unless you really know what you are doing.
Now, lest i get too cranky old man, let me say that At War with the Sun sounded great. The band stepped back and let the tune come throug.h and a new song they played, title of which escaped me, sounded great too, ensuring of course, that we'll have to pay attention to them again, for a single at least. i wish they had done that more. I understand you have to over do it with Dominoes (although i was still secretly hoping for a discofied version) but i expected so much more. and got so very very little. i was pretty glad they didn't do an encore.
and maybe some of the blame should be tossed to A Place to Bury Strangers. they put me in a bad mood with their opening set. we were a little late (Wire-ing i'm sure) but by the time we got there, all we got was 25 minutes of loud monotonous feedback, strobing lights, and rock star poses. no songs. no nothing that would make me ever want to see these guys again (and i actually enjoyed Exploding Head). nice little eff you to the audience i'm sure. but eff you guys too. i'm sure your back pack audience will spend loads of money on your music, and i'll just keep my 11.99 when your next one comes out.