Archive for the ‘Starset’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: June 26, 2022] Starset / Red / Divide the Fall / Oni

My son and I have seen Starset twice.  Each show has been pretty fantastic.

When this tour was announced, I was excited that a show was going to be at the Starland Ballroom (a venue I don’t love, but which he does).

But then it turned out to be the night before he was leaving for Europe.  There was n way we were staying out all night the night before his flight.

So, we gave this tour a miss.

Rock on Purpose has a big review of the show.

I didn’t know any of the other bands.  The above reviewer is a big fan of Red, who he says plays a “combination of cinematic, uplifting, and hardcore rock music.”

They are a Christian band, which seems an odd fit for Starset’s cryptic stances, but whatever, their songs are pretty good with interesting orchestral arrangements over the heavy guitars.

Divide the Fall are from Minnesota.  Spill, their local magazine says

their modern hard rock sound and catchy choruses with the occasional heavy breakdown.

And a review of their recent EP describes melodic harmonies and stunning, clean vocals.

Oni were a progressive heavy metal band from Canada with growling vocals and crazy technical profiiency, at least in 2016.  In 2022, they released a new album about which Drowned in Sound says

If you were anticipating another round of technical bludgeoning akin to the Ironshore era then you may be disappointed as ONI have taken an entirely different direction this time round.

Sounds like the heaviest bands went on first, although some of their new songs are pretty mellow too.  Interestimg.

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[READ: January 15, 2021] The Prox Transmissions

I had recently seen Starset live and decided to check out lead singer Dustin Bates’ books (which I had gotten for my son for his birthday and I think he hasn’t read).

All of the CDs have a theme and the story of the Prox Transmissions is meant to tie into the album called Transmission.

My understanding was that the graphic novel was an adaptation of the novel.  I couldn’t find the novel in his room, but I did see the graphic novel, so I started with that (even though I’m sure it would have ben smarter to read the novel first).

The most impressive thing about this to me was that it was published by Marvel.  Not because I’m a Marvel fan boy but because I just assumed it was self published.  That being said, I think a thing or two was lost in the abridgement.

There are double crosses and possibly triple crosses and seemingly minor characters come to have major roles without a very satisfying explanation.  Basically it feels like a story that has has a lot removed (which it is).

The actual story line is pretty cool though. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 17, 2021] Starset

My son got me into Starset and I enjoy going to see them live with him.  Last time at the TLA we were kind of far back but this time we got pretty close.  I actually wondered if we were too close since it’s fun to take in the whole spectacle of their show.  But it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to get close to the stage.

Starset was formed in 2013 by Dustin Bates, who is also the band’s lead singer and songwriter.  Bates has a Masters’ degree in electrical engineering.  He has done research for the US Air Force and taught at the International Space University (whatever that is).

Using that educational background as a jumping off point, Bates has created this complex backstory.  The story goes that Starset was formed as part of a public outreach initiative by The Starset Society. The Society had obtained a Message from a mysterious signal sent from space and wanted to alert the public to it.

And so every show is a “Demonstration” and there’s all kinds of codes and buzzwords that the band uses, which makes it indeed like a secret society. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 17, 2021] The Word Alive

The Word Alive was up next and  I found them to be a puzzling band.

Their name sounds like they’re a Christian band.  But I don’t think they are.

Their sound was ll over the place during this show.  Which is not a bad thing, although it felt more confused than intentional.

Their third song “Misery” (a new song) was a singalong and lead singer Tyler Smith got everyone doing a hand wave back and forth.

But their earlier song “Trapped” which I guess was a bit of a hit single back in the day featured some really dirty screamed vocals from both Smith and one of the guitarists.

And in this song Smith yelled at us for not giving enough back.

It was kind of all over the place.

The band has had many lineup change over the years and apparently half the band left just before this tour.

I won’t say I didn’t like them, because I did, but it didn’t really do a lot for me.

  1. monomania ≠
  3. Misery
  4. No Way Out ≠
  5. Red Clouds ⊕
  7. Trapped ♦
  8. Wonderland
  9. Why Am I Like This? ⊕

♦ Dark Matter (2016)
≠ monomania (2017)
⊕ Violent Noise (2021)

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[ATTENDED: November 17, 2021] All Good Things

This would be my son’s second show in just over a week.  We drove to TLA and had plenty of time to grab cheesesteaks (something I never do when I’m by myself).  Or so I thought.

The info said the show started at 7:30.  We walked in at 7:30 only to be told we missed the first band Another Day Dawns.  Their set must have been really short.

We got into the club and got up nice and close to the stage, just in time for All Good Things to take the stage.

I hadn’t heard of them, but as soon as they took the stage they played the kind of huge metal anthems that are designed for big group sing alongs.

So I looked them up and discovered

All Good Things were happy supplying dramatic soundtracks for video games and TV shows… until a growing army of fans tracked them down.  The band have built something of an online fanbase supplying music to video games and soundtracks, from WWE Smackdown to Prison Break and Bones. Cut to next scene, and two of the band’s songs have each generated more than two million Spotify listens.

So that makes total sense.  Songs filled with big hooks and lots of woah oh ohs.

Dan Murphy (vocals, guitar), Andrew Bojanic (guitar, vocals), Liz Hooper (bass, keyboard, vocals), Miles Franco (guitar, bass, vocals) and Randy Cooke (drums) played a terrific and enjoyable set.

The one big surprise for me was when they busted out a Destiny’s Child cover.  I don’t know Destiny’s Child at all, so I don’t know if this was a popular song. I do enjoy a left field cover and this was way out in left field.  The anthemic quality fit in pretty well with the rest of their songs, which shows just how poppy metal is at its core.

After the show I found that I didn’t really like the music as much–it felt a little too perfect, too anthemic, too made for movies.  But live, it was a cathartic and fun experience to shout along to these rockers.

  1. Kingdom ⊕
  2. Machines ≠
  3. Hold On ⊕
  4. Push Me Down ⊕
  5. The Comeback ⊕
  6. Survivor (Destiny’s Child cover)
  7. For the Glory ≠

≠ Machines (2017)
⊕ A Hope in Hell (2021)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] Starset

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

C. has been a fan of Starset since their first album came out.  I had not heard of them and I’m not sure where he came upon them, but he really liked their debut Transmissions.

And I can say that now that I know more about them, they would have been a band that I would absolutely loved and been utterly obsessed with back in high school as well.  Their back story and concept is pretty intricate, so I won’t bother trying to do justice to it here.  Suffice it to say their albums are concept albums.

I also love that he didn’t like the second album, Vessels, as much because it was too poppy (not his words, but I think that’s what he meant).  When I had talked about getting tickets to them the last time (I think we’d just missed them come to the area, he said it was okay as he didn’t like that album that much).  But that the third album was back to the cool stuff again so he was pretty excited when I told him I’d gotten us tickets.

He wanted his friend to come along, but it being a school night and us not getting home until 12:30 made it impossible for his friend to come.  So it was just us. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] Hyde

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

After A Brilliant Lie, some people moved around and we were right in the middle for Hyde.

When I looked up this concert I saw that  lot of people were more excited about Hyde than anyone else.  Someone even suggested that Hype might play solo–just him and his guitar.

I had no idea who Hyde was, but based on that (erroneous) information I assumed he might be a metal guy doing some mellower songs.

Boy was I wrong. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] A Brilliant Lie

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

Despite leaving pretty early, between traffic, getting pizza on the way there and parking (dad was trying to be cheap and find street parking, but eventually had to give in and pay), we walked in about 2 songs into A Brilliant Lie’s set.

It was certainly a surprise to walk in and hear a band playing “Africa.”  It was even more of a surprise to hear them later say “Weezer can go away now, because, surely they were only playing this because Weezer re-popularized it, right?”  However, A Brilliant Lie’s version was pretty great–heavier and less exactly like the original.  They even did a “everybody get down” middle section and encouraged everyone to sing along (for better or worse). (more…)

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