Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ISIS @ the TLA

Last night I attended the Isis gig at the TLA. Because I always end up going to their shows solo, I aimed to make it in time for the second (of three) bands, skipping the opener, and delaying the awkwardness of being around metal heads. The band I was aiming for was Torche. I saw them for the first time last summer when they opened for Mogwai and, stoned out of my mind, I felt like I was seeing the heaviest band in the history of music. Last night I was dead sober and I had a similar experience. It's not that they have a lot of chugga-chugga breakdowns or they paint their faces like Norwegian satanists or anything, their sound is just so thick and layered. Also, when the drummer uses double-bass he further emphasizes the sound by riding his first and floor toms, which are well-mic'ed at that. If I had to compare them to other bands/sounds I would probably say the doom atmosphere of Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, the layers of SunnO))) and the heavy heavy complexity of Botch. Right on. Anyways, as I was handing the door man my ticket they were literally striking their first chords.

After Torche came Isis. I was impressed that even after reaching the level of popularity that they have, they still set up their own equipment and everything. This made for a quick segue into the music with no lame delay to get the crows psyched like most bands do. The music was phenomenal. They opened with "Wrists of Kings" and went on to play(including the encore,) 8 songs in 1 1/2 hours, pretty much without breaks between songs. That equates to about 11 1/2 minutes per song. I might have miscounted and it was 9 songs, but you get the hint. You need an attention span for this shit. It was great. They also played "Not in Rivers, But in Drops," "So Did We," "Holy Tears," and amazingly "False Light." SoooOOOoooo Heavy. For an encore they played "Celestial" too. Everyone was so stoked.

The TLA was pretty filled up, especially considering that Jesu didn't end up playing as expected. You could tell that their tour with Tool won them some shithead fans though. I was standing behind a group of four kids who wouldn't stop talking about test presses and limited edition vinyl. I really don't get that stuff. The music is what's important. Why do you need limited editions of what you already have? Behind me were two kids discussing conspiracy theories between Dell, the Discovery Channel and the Catholic Church (that was when I put my ear plugs in.) Once the show got underway though, three scenesters kept making fun of and instigating a kid next to them because he was wearing a Rage Against the Machine shirt. Okay, so he's not as 'with it' as they are. Maybe they've seen Isis more than he has and been into them for longer. But when did this become some exclusive club? Oh, excuse me, it always has been. Jerkoffs like that have been around at every show in every state I've ever been. It's such a shame. They just weren't letting him enjoy the show and it was a real bummer. I remember reading an interview with Isis' frontman Aaron Turner recently and he was discussing how unfortunate it is that with the growing popularity of a band like his, comes idiot fans who ruin things. I remember seeing them at the Church last Autumn and a kid who, obviously isn't there to enjoy the music and instead to 'mosh,' was creating a scene and the overbearing Turner said some pretty aggressive stuff to the kid. It shut him up but it won't stop it across the board. I've read interviews with Kurt Cobain talking about meatheads coming to Nirvana shows when they got big. People just don't get it. It's like the girl standing in the back of a Bane show text-messaging. Are you listening to the lyrics, douchebag? Anyways, I won't let that get in the way of appreciating a great performance.

On the walk home a 40-something year old man in a car kept following me calling me sexy and whistling at me. At first I thought he was just messing around with me until he really started to creep me out. He wanted me to get in his car and to go somewhere. He was dead serious. I hate people.
Minus the Bear

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