Archive for the ‘Theatre of Living Arts’ Category

[ATTENDED: April 11, 2022] Animals as Leaders / Intervals

Animals as Leaders is a trio that plays loud, complex progressive metal.

I saw them a few years ago and was blown away.  Although I didn’t like the crowd very much, and wanted to see them again at some point.

Of course, this show conflicted with two other shows the same night and then we went on vacation, so there was not a chance here.

Intervals is a Canadian progressive metal band. I’m sure I would have liked them as well.

Maybe some other time.










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[ATTENDED: April 6, 2022] Mogwai

Back in 1997, my friend Lar was living in Ireland and we would send each other CDs of songs we liked.  He even sent me a couple of UK (etc) only Mogwai singles.

I’m fairly certain he had seen them around this time.  Or at the very least he was aware of their live shows being raucous and loud with endless versions of songs like “Like Herod” where the feedback roared on for twenty minutes.

Well, here it is 25 years later and I still hadn’t seen them live, but they were still going strong.  Actually, I have a ticket stub for them in 2001, but I have no recollection of the show.  I was also supposed to see them in 2017, but a freak snowstorm kept me home.  It was probably the right decision, but I hadn’t forgotten it in five years.  [Either way according to setlist, at neither of those shows did they play “Like Herod”].

And the band did actually wait the 55 minutes to start at 10PM.  Good heavens.  It was so long that the guy next to me passed out (this is the fourth show that I’ve been to where someone has passed out).  He was fine and they walked over to the door to get him so air.

I was right up front (2nd from the fence) and had a perfect view of center stage.  Which was only a shame that Stuart Braithwaite, the defacto leader of the band set up shop on the side of the stage.  Between me and he was a very tall man with a lot of hair.   Bummer. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 6, 2022] Nina Nastasia

I had not heard of Nina Nastasia before this show.  And, placed between Ye Gods and Mogwai, I never expected her to be a pleasant, if rather dark, folk singer.

She released her first album in 2000 and put out records pretty consistently for ten years.  Then she stopped and now has a new album due out in July.

Her bandcamp site is quite confessional (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 6, 2022] Ye Gods

Ye Gods has an amusing name.

It is the project of Antoni Maiovvi, apparently.

Also apparently, Antoni Maiovvi has released music under about a dozen names like: Ye Gods / Jason Priest / Pleasure Model
Half of: Homoagent / Acid Vatican.

According to his bandcamp page,

A project born in Bristol in 2006 and developed in the bohemian dystopia of Berlin from 2009. Antoni Maiovvi walks the line between retro-synth and horror soundtracks for both real and imagined films.

This was his first stop on the Mogwai tour.  When he came out, he had a table with a whole bunch of electronic gear on it.  From where I Was standing I could see his laptop, and although it’s was 100% clear, I was pretty sure I could see the progress bar streaming across the screen.  And indeed, when it reached the end of the last block, the music ended.  So that’s pretty interesting

Essentially, he created a 30 minute block of music and put it in his laptop.  Then he had all kinds of buttons and knobs and he modified the songs throughout–mostly adding wild effects and pitchshifting.

He also sang (and screamed) into his mic.

It was catchy and dancey and he seemed really really into it.

I wonder if it would have been more enjoyable from further back?  If the sound was better back there. Or maybe seeing how the sausage was made was a little weird?  Either way, it was fine and it was fun to see him as he made the sounds, but I felt like with a name like Ye Gods, it might have been a bit more fun.

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[ATTENDED: February 1, 2022] Mother Mother

I I had never heard of Mother Mother before a few months ago.  They have been around for over fifteen years, but recently a few songs from their 2008 album blew up on TikTok.  Because I have teenagers, I found out about them second hand.

And I fell in love with the frenetic guitar and lyrics of “Hayloft,” which led me to explore more of their music.

Way back on April 29 of last year, I bought four tickets to this show for me, my kids and a friend.  It seemed like it would never get here.  Then it seemed like it might get cancelled or postponed, but it did go on, although not exactly as planned.

When I bought the tickets, the band was playing The Foundry.  The Foundry is an amazing intimate venue that hold 450 people.  I was super excited that they were there because whenever I’ve seen a band there, I’ve practically gotten to high five them.  So I was a little bummed when in December it was announced that they’d moved the show to TLA.  TLA is bigger (and I usually have a hard time getting there, but it was great tonight).  Of course, this is great for the band, as TLA holds 1,000 people.  And it sold out, so they doubled their attendance.

It also turned out that Mother Mother puts on a BIG show.  Big lights, big sound.  They used the whole stage.  And The Foundry’s stage is like the size of a dining room table, so the show would have been nowhere near as amazing. So good for everyone. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 1, 2022] DYLYN

I hadn’t heard of DYLYN before a few days ago.  I was trying to figure out who was the band’s opening act and it said DYLYN>  So I looked her up and I really liked the two (!) songs that were available on bandcamp.

DYLYN is a singer from Vancouver (originally Toronto).  She had a powerful voice and plays a kind of power punk/metal hybrid sound.

Although interestingly, she was once a pop singer under the name Guinevere and she had a couple of top ten hits.  Here real name is Gwendolyn Lewis, and it’s impossible to guess how old she is.  I would have thought 18 from the show, but she had these hits a few years ago, so who knows.

DYLYN is also very pretty–which a few meatheads in the crowd were all too keen to point out nonstop throughout the show.  One jackass shouted “I love you Dylyn so much that when he walked away, a woman next to me muttered, :there goes the guy who loves Dylyn.”  The other drunken guy was so loud–and kept laughing about how loud he was being “I’m so loud!”  Wow, what a dick (but what do you expect from a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt with the pattern consisting of Playboy magazine covers.  Where does one even get such a shirt?

But Dylyn apparently only heard the good parts from the crowd an, it’s fair to say the crowd was really into her set.  She and her band (Ulysses on guitar, Parker on bass and sorry drummer I’ve forgotten your name) put on a ripping show full of bangers and ballads.  And on more than one occasion, Dylyn really belted out a song showcasing what a spectacular voice she has.

I was rather surprised that this fairly unknown musician was given a 45 minute opening set, but I saw today that Dylyn has written with Ryan from Mother Mother.  So they clearly have a bond.

She opened with the ripping Hellbound.


She ended the set with a solid cove of Nirvana’s “Lithium.”

It’s great that she got so much exposure during this tour.  I hope her album is huge.

SETLIST [her album isn’t out yet so bracketed songs are lyrics that I recorded]

  1. Hellbound
  2. [take me back to the original sin]
  3. Hurt
  4. [come over with my best friend.  I don’t wanna go, you can’t make me go]
  5. [little sister you’re not alone]
  6. [life is just a neverending song]
  7. [can you fee/ scream it, this is how I want it]
  8. [boy/song about her father]
  9. [take me to your darkness/wanna feel the pieces]
  10. [I want the best for you and if I tell the truth/I let you down]
  11. Lithium (Nirvana cover)
  12. Liberate Me

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[ATTENDED: November 24, 2021] Jinjer

I first heard JInjer when I saw a video for their song “Pisces.”  The song starts out slow and melodic with Tatiana Shmaylyuk singing in a quiet, lovely voice.  At the one minute mark, the songs shifts to a heavy off-kilter riff and Shmaylyuk unleashes a guttural growl that you absolutely assume is from someone off screen–but it’s not.  [Check out hilarious vocal coach reaction videos].

So I wanted to see Jinjer to experience Shmayluk’s voice in person.  But I was absolutely blown away by the rest of the band.

Jinjer is from Ukraine and I don’t know how often they come to the U.S., but there were some really die hard fans there.  The band’s lineup has changed quite a lot over the years, but since 2016, the lineup has reamined Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitar, Eugene Abdukhanov on bass and Vladislav Ulasevich on drums.

Their sound is quite heavy, but with lots of moments of quieter, pretty melodies.  Indeed, they play really complicated rhythms and time changes, with terrific riffs and bass lines.  The drummer also adds a lot of percussive sounds to the songs making them a band where it’s hard to know who to watch. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 24, 2021] All Hail the Yeti / Suicide Silence

I arrived a little early for this show (for a change–TLA usually has me running late looking for parking).  And it took forever the first band to go on.  I was sure something was going on.

Then it was announced that Suicide Silence tested positive for COVID and would not be on stage that night.  I actually assumed that I’d be going home early, but no, I guess the headliner is scheduled to go on at 9:30 or whatever and that’s what they’re going to do.  Which makes sense.

So All Hail the Yeti came out with their cool stage gear and I assume played a longer set than they might normally.  Yes, it looks like they played three more songs at our show.

There are four members in the band: Connor Garritty – lead vocals;  Nicholas Diltz – bass, backing vocals; Ryan “Junior” Kittlitz – drums and  Dave Vanderlinde – guitars.  And behind each member (more or less) was a giant banner with a rune on it.  Each rune looked more or less like the initials of the band.  Which was pretty neat.

Each band member had some kind of Viking paint on.  I was in front of guitarist Vanderlinde and the top of his forehead was painted white with a rune painted on top.  Lead singer Garrity had his long hair in a pony tail and had on a kind of modified corpse paint to make his eyes really stand out.  He sand in a kind of guttural style but was clearly audible.  Bassist Diltz had long bleached blond hair an a full beard and sang in a really lovely high voice–an excellent contrast and I actually preferred his vocals.

All of this is leading up to the surprising realization that they are from California and not Scandinavia.

They had some good diversity in their sounds, with some heavy grooves and then some simply heavy sounds.  But they also had some fantastic harmonizing like on “After the Great Fire.”

The one song that annoyed me though was “Witch is Dead.”  It started out kind of fun with them singing the “ding dong the witch is dead” children’s song but in their heavy style.  I thought it was pretty fun, until he had to rhyme it with “the fucking bitch is dead,” and I felt there was a little too much misogyny going on in that line–he seemed to relish it too much.

But if I overlook that I otherwise really enjoyed their set.  Their sound was great and their look, while elaborate wasn’t too far over the top to be comical.

  1. Suicide Woods ¥
  2. Headless Valley
  3. Slow Season
  4. The Art of Mourning ¥
  5. Bury Your Memory
  6. Witch Is Dead §
  7. Before the Flames §
  8. Funeral Heart
  9. After the Great Fire ¥
  10. Mr. Murder §

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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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