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  DO MAKE SAY THINK w/ Blame Game  
  The EARL  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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I really like Do Make Say Think. I have been listening to them for many years, and i thoroughly enjoy their albums. In the many years i have been listening to them, this is the first time they have ventured down south for a performance. So i was looking forward to this show enough to drag myself and Tracers out to the smoky, beer-soaked, yet familiar, confines of The EARL on a school night.

The club was really moving things along tonight. There was only one opener, and they played on the side stage, leaving the main stage set up for DMST. The opening band was called Blame Game, and apparently involved a former member of Ocelot. They went on around 10, and played a half hour set of mathy emo. The vocals were screamed, and the guitars were loud and playing harder riffs. In the middle of their set, they performed a few tunes that reminded me more of Hood than of Slint. These songs featured discordant rhythms and abstract, minimalist melodies. That was the highlight of their set for me, as otherwise they were a somewhat normal emo act. Not bad, really.

DMST took the stage at 11:15, which left time for a rather long intermission between bands. I don't know what the deal was. Perhaps they were waiting for a larger crowd. Indeed, The EARL was practically empty compared to last Saturday night's post-rock show. Personally, i think that DMST are far more talented than Explosions in the Sky, but not as many people came out to see this show, perhaps because it was a Tuesday. Still, it was a decent sized crowd for a Tuesday evening.

DMST performed as a 6 piece. There were two drummers and four frontmen. Each of the guys in front played various instruments, trading off as necessary. Bass, guiar, keyboards, trumpet, and sax all were played by various individuals at various times. The sound was okay but not specatcular, which was very silly because they band brought its own sound guy to do the mix. The low end came across very clearly, and the two drum kits were very well mic-ed. However, the guitar was too low, and the subtler moments on some of the songs got lost in the general conversational haze of the audience. That really annoyed me. I love the subtle and intricate things this band does with melodic interplay, and often i could not hear it that well. Disappointing, but this is a common problem with that type of subtle music done live.

Overall, DMST emphasized their last few albums, playing only a few tunes i recognized from early in their catalog. I would describe their live sound as Tortoise meets Mogwai. That is, there are amazingly complex rhythmic things going on, and the melody ebbs and flows in front of the rhythms. Now that i think about it, this description pretty much works for their recorded output as well.

Overall, i must admit i was somewhat disappointed by this show. i did enjoy seeing them, but there just seemed to be many difficulties in translating the recorded DMST experience into a form that worked in front of a crowd. In all honesty, i think that they need to work on their live show more. Or just stick to recording, which is fine with me.

I suppose that if you are a fan, like myself, you will be able to find moments of pure aural ecstasy in the show, but otherwise i don't really think it comes across all that well live. And that is disappointing in a way. Oh well.

Related Links:
  Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn, the most recent album from Do Make Say Think.  

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