So what can you say about the best show you've seen in months? How can you condense that experience down into mere words that are only a pale reflection of the evening?
Part I: the Opener
I've heard of Sharks and Minnows - they're a local band which seems to play out a fair amount, usually as the first opener for some national tour. This suggests that
- they're at least modestly competent
- they know someone who books shows
- they have a relatively accessible and non-threatening sound
And now, having seen them, I've concluded that my evaluation was right: they're good (for a first opener) and melodic and non-annoying (except when the lead singer does his falsetto thing - yikes!). Furthermore, they're definitely what one might term as "emo." This may not seem like a big deal to you, but Sharks and Minnows are the first clearly identifiable Emo band to break onto the local club circuit here in Atlanta. Now that's impressive - a decent local band without any reverb. Wow.
Part II: Tracers can't read
I'd never heard of the middle band, Dalek. However, the local weekly music rag (which is not very dependable in their reviews or their news) informed me that:
Equally eccentric act Dalek are somewhat influenced by psychedelic guitar-rock (with the occasional sitar/tabla combo) and bring a wash of shoegazer feedback to their dark, dense hip-hop...
Having glanced over that review, I was clearly expecting a minor-keyed variation of some Elephant 6 monstrosity. So I was very surprised when PostLibyan turned to me as they were setting up and said, "Hmm...that's interesting. Why do they have two turntables?" You see, I had somehow missed the "hip-hop" mentioned in the review above. Furthermore, I hadn't finished the sentence which stated that Dalek's music is "equal parts Public Enemy and out-of-your-head swirling epics."
As shocked as I was by the experience, I didn't look nearly as stunned as the vast majority of the audience, who stood there, mouths agape, as the Echo Lounge was turned into hip-hop venue, complete with obscene gestures and booming bass beat. They had industrial noise; they had scratching records. The performers threw themselves (metaphorically) at their somewhat unwilling and unaccepting audience. And, ultimately, they were amazingly cool (and a good opener to boot), proving that little Indie Rockers can deal with music outside of their home genre.
Part III: The Plan are On
I've seen the Dismemberment Plan three times this year. This was by far their best show - they were on, the set list was right, and (for once) The Echo Lounge's sound wasn't horribly distorted. They played all the "greatest hits" - and put the crowd through their bouncing, happy paces. What else can you say?
How about "Go see the Dismemberment Plan live. Go now, or Brendan will hunt you down."