tiistai 19. huhtikuuta 2016

Support band business vol. 7: Friends of Converge

Converge likes to keep their supports interesting and that can work wonders for the open minded music listener. Without further ado..

11.4. Postbahnhof, Berlin, DE
German crowd <3
This Italian group came to the rescue when 40 Watt Sun pulled out from the originally planned line up. I wasn't familiar with either of these groups so to me it was all the same. On the topic of Italy, first thing that pops into my mind is The Secret who toured with Converge in 2012 on the All We Love We Leave Behind Tour. Seeing Grime proved that it's just not the pizza sauce that Italians master but also the heavy doomy sounds that make the sun want to stay low. Unfortunately from where I was standing, I could barely hear any of the singing making the set more of a instrumental soundtrack to some very dark and twisted movie. When walk in a forest goes wrong and one first gets strangled by tree branches and then further mutilated by an unknown deformed creature. No remains left what so ever.

Another new acquaintance. First song Rise up & Fight reminded me of my back home favorite Teksti-TV 666 so that was all that it took for Crippled Black Phoenix to get my undivided attention for their given playing time. Similarities ended when CPB's musical journey took more easily approachable and less instrumental route. To me it was absolutely refreshing to hear a band you could easily even dance to in a groovy, not hxc way, at a Converge show. 
It sometimes only takes just couple of devoted fans to make a gig a bit more special to both crowd and the band. This happened with one of the last - if not the very last song when Oo-oo-OO parts in the song started to live a life on their own. First the o-vowel sung back by just the CPB fans in the house but didn't take too long for rest to join making this very welcoming first show on the Blood Moon tour for Crippled Black Phoenix. They definitely built up the crowd's interest level song by song during the set leaving people intrigued what just went on, me and my friend included.

13.4. Electric Brixton, London, UK
Sigh. People in UK have the talent of coming up with the most ridiculous things to whine about when any, emphasis on any, UK tour is announced. Usually it's the why won't you come to my door-crying but this one brought up a whole new level of you have got to be kidding me. The Dinner Guy gave me and my friend laughs for days with his inquiry on the event's Facebook page if a re-entry was possible so that he can get his after work dinner during the less interesting bands. Literally speechless. How about making that extra sandwich and eat while walking / in the queue or quick stop at any of the several stores providing food in the Brixton area? Sadly enough the already quite negative nancy tone didn't just end to the Facebook comments.

First up was maybe the support people most looked forward to. If you didn't get in among the first ones, you missed out! It was like watching a rabid terrier dog barking frantically inside a car and if let loose it would charge right at you and would not let go until it's lower and upper jaw would be united. Good thing I'm a dog person. While another group took the crown of the (support) band of the night, Full of Hell got my boiling under trophy meaning I'm left well interested and the appreciation towards them started to bloom around now, days post show. There is more to this this band than met the eye and reached the ear the first time around. Intense set that started and ended way too fast.
Headache with fever listener test: surprisingly Full of Hell turned out to be really relaxing and pleasant listening. I would love to see them again and this actually miiiight happen later this year..depends depends.

I tried to listen to The Body before the tour and I don't think I even got through a single full song without skipping to next and then the next etc after just few seconds. I thought there would be a female vocalist so I was a bit confused when it was just two men who took the stage. Before they started I had noticed quite a few people sporting The Body merch so they definitely were one of the more "interesting" bands of the night, according to The Dinner Guy too. For me they turned out to be the least impressive band of the bill. Didn't mind listening to the gig since they had a lot of energy going on and you know when a band looks very likable, yeah that's The Body to you but we just didn't hit it off. If they for some twisted reason would tour over here some fine day I think I would go see them but until that day, which most likely will never come, this was likely our short story together.
The headache with fever listener test: no, this makes it worse, just no. Simply can't bring myself to listen to The Body on record at all (?!) on the other hand, that's quite a rare accomplishment in my books so well done The Body.

That glimpse of hope when during the last minute touches before the set vocals were requested to put louder. Maybe this time Grime live like it's supposed to...but no. Aggressive music instrumental fest continued. Tad bit frustrating to now watch 3rd band in a row not holding anything back yet the outcome being a flat version of what you are looking at. Not much of a difference to the gig in Berlin, still filthy metal, still doomy. They ignored the time's up signal coming from side stage and blasted one more song. Knowing how strict UK is with curfews, moment of worry if timetables would now get screwy. Thankfully not, otherwise I'd be wording things in quite different tone.

Clearly the oddball of this group of supports as all of the previous bands would not bring up the question why with Converge. Must have been the combination of built up anticipation for the main act and empty stomachs that caused quite a big chunk of the audience act so disrespectfully during CBP's set. I didn't woke up to this until member of the band said between songs "..and hey thanks for talking." Afterwards my friend also mentioned about the on going chatter. I hate it when people talk while band plays. Gigs are the best place to discover new music so it's sad if not willing to give something different a chance. Even if not your cup of tea, to many it is and I'd say all the bands were requested by Converge so acting this way towards their support is also a fuck you to their way as well. To my luck the music had already carried me into a bubble where I didn't notice much what happened around me. Swaying eyes shut, enjoying the sounds and vocals you could this time hear.
CBP provided great transition from the louder groups to what the idea of Blood Moon set was about, a point many missed. I'd think the people whose main reason to attend was Chelsea Wolfe, were likely to find CBP quite enjoyable too. Highlight of the set was once again when Belinda Kordic lent her voice to a song and also the trumpet! Suddenly the big stage didn't seem so big anymore. Yet another gig proved that this group masters the art of putting together a balanced setlist ending on a high note.

I'll be back to these venues at some point with some Connnvverrrgggggeee material too! -kilu 

Thank you:

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