Live Review: Father, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, The Autumn Project…

Category: Blog — @ 5:52 pm April 24, 2006

Here’s a late review of Saturday night’s show; late because the Lazy-i servers were down for awhile yesterday for maintenance, upkeep and and other technical stuff. I guess I should have just written the review right when I got home from the show Saturday night, but I was still feeling a but uneasy. Just to clarify up front: What I’m about to say isn’t meant as an insult. I was literally physically ill after Father’s set. But let me start at the beginning…

I got down at the Underground just as Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship had taken the stage. Their style and sound was pleasingly thunderous and epic, intense and… well, loud, dark and ominous as a storm cloud rolling in — a fitting opener for what lied ahead. Shortly after they finished their set, a projector screen was placed on stage. The guys in Father followed next, setting up in the dark. The projector glowed blue, then pink as Clark Baechle started off the 20-minute song with booming, repeated, tribal drum riffs that went on — alone — for at least a few minutes before D. Bushon joined in on drums alongside him, throwing his arms high with every capped measure. Bushon threw his sticks off stage, picked up a guitar and began a throbbing drone that would eventually include Dapose and someone on bass.

Meanwhile, on screen, a faint pattern emerged, a pulsing central circle surrounded by four pulsing dots — one in each corner. Slowly, small lines appeared, growing into a web of veins (or so it seemed). As the sound intensified, the veins kept growing, become more detailed with each pulse of the central circle, eventually resembling the circulatory system of an alien life form. Behind it, in the dark, the gutteral sounds from Father throbbed louder, trancelike and grim. Eventually Clark up and left the stage, leaving Bushon, Dapose and the bass to rumble on. I don’t know if it was the all-encompassing low end, the nightmarish image on screen, or the combination of the two, but it was right about here that I began to get slightly nauseous. What the f*** was this supposed to be, some sort of bludgeoning nightmare séance?

One-by-one members of the band left the stage, eventually leaving Dapose to drone to a conclusion while Seth Johnson’s gruesome image slowly faded from the screen. When Dapose finally left and the house sound and lights came up, the crowd of 100 clapped, confused and maybe a bit startled. Father’s performance was disturbing and unsettling and most likely right on target.

Most of the crowd left before The Autumn Project took the stage (see this week’s column (online Thursday) for a further explanation). They missed out on some more powerful, though stark, instrumental music driven by a talented drummer. It reminded me of the instrumental bands that were so popular four or five years ago, playing chord changes that center around the rhythm section. Autumn Project is the first band I’ve seen in a long time to use a smoke machine. At one point, during one of their song’s dramatic moments, the drummer became hidden in the fog only to reemerge wearing a white mask! Weird! Was he wearing that thing the whole time? I think I would have noticed. He slipped it off moments later and continued with the set. All-in-all, a disturbing evening of sound, light and noise.

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