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Archive for the ‘The Contortionist’ Category

[ATTENDED: May 19, 2019] Animals as Leaders

My Brother-in-law, Ben told me about Animals as Leaders and I was rather shocked that I had never heard of Tosin Abasi.

Tosin is from Washington D.C. (his parents are from Nigeria).  He is self taught and has been playing since about 2000.  He plays primarily the 8-string electric guitar and his fingers (on both hands) are all over the fretboard.  Basically, he’s a guy you want to watch closely.

He started the all-instrumental Animals as Leaders in 2009.  The band is a hybrid of many different genres: heavy metal, prog, jazz, classical.  Or as he put it: “Thanks for listening to our weird ass music for the last ten years.”

I was also intrigued that right after talking about them I saw that they were coming into Philly a few weeks later.  So I immediately grabbed a ticket.

Indeed, this tour was celebrating the tenth anniversary of the debut, self-titled album.  I assumed that that meant they’d be playing the whole album but they didn’t.  They played about half of the debut and about half of their newest release (from way back in 2016).

I feel about this show that it was the most disappointing experience of an amazing show that I’ve had in a long time. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 19, 2019] The Contortionist

I don’t understand how I have never heard of The Contortionist (which is a spectacular name for a prog-metal band, especially in the singular).  They have been making prog-metal since 2007.  And prog metal is one of my jams.

So how could I not know about these guys (who have a pretty intense fanbase)?

They had this cool wooden cutout backdrop thing which I rather liked.  Although when the lights came on I saw that it was beat up and weathered–ah the magic of stage craft.

The band came out and the lighting was really intense. The light behind the wooden sculpture was lit up from time to time, but primarily the stage lights coordinated very well with the (diverse and very fast) riffs and drums.  There were a few strobing moments that actually hurt my head.

I was in front of guitarist Cameron Maynard and bassist Jordan Eberhardt.  The problem for me was that once this band took the stage an influx of very tall people came up front.  Plus the lighting was mostly very very dark.  I didn’t even realize there was a second guitarist (Robby Baca) for about three songs. (more…)

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