I've heard really great things about Mira from several people,
so i was pleased when i saw that they were (finally) making
the trek to Atlanta from Florida. Playing with The Changelings
and Tourmlain was icing on the cake. Let's just say that i was
really looking forward to this concert.
Tourmalin were already on stage when i arrived at 10:30. They
had just started though, so i got to spend about 40 minutes
sitting and listening to them play. I think that they sounded
clearer than the last time
i saw them, although that has more to do with The Echo than
with them. At any rate -- they again played a nicely pleasant
set. Lead vocalist Emily Hayne's rich voice is nicely complemented
by the guitarist's Robin Guthrie-esque mellow wall of chorus
playing, and the bassist's ponderous riffs.
My only complaints are, again, drumming coming from the laptop
(which i personally just don't get), and the fact that there
is a long gap between each song while they load in the next
drum track. These pauses wouldn't be so awful, except that during
the breaks the band all stares akwardly at the floor or each
other and does not even acknowledge the crowd. It makes them
seem shy and uncertain. However, when they are playing they
seem confident and happy.
So i dunno. I really enjoyed their set, but i still think that
having an actual drummer would help by eliminating some of those
pauses and would also give their sound a richer feel. But that
is a minor complaint really, because when they were playing
it sounded great.
After Tourmalin left the stage, there was a whopping great
intermission while The Changelings set up, decorated the stage
with christmas lights, then sound checked. The wait was kind
And, when they started to play, the sound wasn't even right!
It must have been three or four songs into their set before
i even heard the guitar. And the vocalist kept jumping and slapping
her hands over her ears as if in pain at the sound of the drums
and/or keyboards. And the keys were LOUD -- way too loud. They
dominated the set.
As to the music, it was okay. Not the best Changelings set
that i have seen, but in all fairness the vocalist mentioned
their new album several times, and i got the feeling that this
show was designed to work out live versions of some of those
It really dragged in the middle, to be honest. But then the
vocalist announced. "We have to pay Sid Barret royalties for
this" and they went into a spirited and funny cover of See
Emily Play. It really picked the mood up after several slower
(newer) songs. The crowd danced and sang along -- it was silly
fun. The Changelings then ended with a nice older drone-oriented
piece that gave each band member a brief solo. I was struck
by how talented each member is as they riffed off while the
rest of the band droned. Really well done.
The Changelings set was the longest that night, and it seemed
to drag a bit in the middle, but it ended on a real up note.
I gathered that most people were there to see The Changelings,
seeing as The Echo cleared out after their set.
Which is a shame, because it meant that most people missed
Mira's short but lovely set! There was another long wait while
Mira were sound-checked in. During this time period i noticed
something very odd about the band: the women (voice and bass)
are massively tall, while the men (guitar, guitar, and drums)
are quite short. This disparity only makes the females seem
even taller -- as if they are two giants on the stage surrounded
by their dwarven minions. It was a very odd thing to see --
the little male guitarist having a hard time on his tip-toes
reaching for the vocalist's microphone to say something!
It was after 1 AM before Mira started to play. For them, the
sound check was worth it because they sounded great right from
the start. Basically, Mira are a guitar rock band with lots
of distortion. Shoegazer, if you want to use that term.
The guitars were a thick syrupy mix, and over that were laid
nice thudding bass riffs and high-pitched girl vocals. I enjoy
that sort of stuff, but i know that some people would have been
annoyed at the high voice of the vocalist. However, the bass
playing was quite nice, as was the guitar work.
I was not really too familiar with their music before tonight,
but i thoroughly enjoyed what i heard. I was saddenned that
they only played for about 50 minutes. Then again, it was after
2 AM when they finished....
At any rate i will now be on the lookout for this band. A really
well done set that could have been even better had it been longer,
louder, and earlier! If you like distorted guitars and female
voice, check them out as they tour the East Coast later in the
So on the whole, a good night. Three bands with a few akward
moments, but also a lot of good music. All three bands are worth
checking out if you have the chance.