I really enjoyed the recent Wild Moth album, Incubator, so when they swung by
Atlanta on tour i stepped out to catch the show.
Recently i had some challenges with going out to shows. I watched Dälek play to an empty EARL at a
reasonable hour but stayed up wayyyyy too late on a work day to see Young Widows destroy it at 529.
Which would tonight bring?
I arrived just after 10pm to find that the first act, the mysterious Pallow, were gearing off! What the
hecks? Apparently The Drunken Unicorn runs early these days...
See, this is the problem with music venues in Atlanta -- some run early, some run late, but everyone
says "doors at 9". At 529 they mean "doors at 9 with a band showing up within 3 hours" while The EARL
means "doors at 9 and a band about 10-ish", and apparently The Drunken Unicorn means "doors at 9,
first band at 9:30". Ugh. I wish there was some kind of consistency to these things...
But whatever. I wandered in and grabbed a beer in the completely empty dance room/bar part of
The Unicorn, then wandered back to the concert room.
The first thing i noticed was, gasp! there is ethnic and gender diversity at this show! The Young
Widows show was basically a sausage fest, and i have long remarked on how indie rock shows in Atlanta
consist of white people, but here there were groups of girls talking to each other and people from a
range of ethnicities. The club wasn't packed, but it wasn't empty either. I wonder if it is the venue that
draws this kind of diversity or the band(s)? That is, is The Drunken Unicorn more welcoming to people
who are not a white rock dude or was Wild Moth a band that draws out a range of people?
These are the things i think about while standing around a club by myself waiting for a show to start.
I think the answer is a little of column A (since The Unicorn is a dance club, it is familiar to a wide range
of people in a way that The EARL is not) and some of column B (Wild Moth's drummer appears Latino),
but who knows really.
As i waited i noticed that the opening band looked familiar... And sure enough, it was Tired Magic,
the four-piece grungish band that i saw a few weeks before opening for Young Widows. I was not too
impressed with them that time -- they are not a bad band per se, it's just that i lived through grunge
once already and am not exactly keen to re-visit it.
However, the sound at The Drunken Unicorn really worked to their advantage. The Unicorn seems to
have invested in a much better sound system lately, and whoever they had running it tonight really
knew his stuff.
In fact, for one glorious song at the end of their set Tired Magic hit a lot of pedals and
achieved a level of guitar murkiness that few people outside of J. Mascis have managed to achieve.
have to admit that, at a few times in the set, the two guitarists seemed to click into a rifftastic groove
that reminded me of the type of interplay that Jim Wilbur and Mac McCaughan achieve. So Tired Magic
were better here than last time. I still find them to be a little derivative though, and their half-hour set
was just about the right length.
By the time Tired Magic got off of the stage, it was not yet 11pm. Which was good, really, but i was
prepared to be up a bit later. So: buzzing on caffeine and a beer, i waited for Wild Moth.
They took the stage after a brief 20 minute set change and tore into it.
They are a four-piece and
somehow the two guitars seem to be both jangly and fuzzed out at the same time. How do they manage
that? Most bands i see do one or the other, and seeing both at the same time was a real treat.
They played most of Incubator, their latest record, and the songs were even catchier
sped up and played live.
One thing i noticed is that the bassist of the band, who sang on a few tunes and is the shoutier of the
two singers featured on the record, obviously plays shoegaze because he did not look up from the floor
at all while he was on stage.
Overall i really liked Wild Moth's 30 minute set. It was a lot of fun, and i pulled into my parking lot
before midnight. Can’t beat that for a night out.