Yesterday while getting the link for the blog to talk about Explosions in the Sky, a new group I’ve been digging, I was poking around their webpage and realized they were playing in Sacramento that very night. I quickly informed Ben that, pursuant to the conditions of our rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, we would have to attend. Even though I’ve only had their stuff for a few days, I had already decided I liked them a lot – as they reminded me a lot of other post-rock (see, I know the jargon) outfits I enjoy, like Mogwai. So Benz and I decided to pull off the last-minute show, and Sharaun came along as well.
The show was at the Cap Garage, a nice little place in downtown Sac where we’ve seen other acts like Pedro the Lion and Hot Hot Heat. I generally like the place, although it’s way small and therefore gets really loud. This time I got smart and brought along three pairs of earplugs, just in case. It was a four-band night, and oddly enough Explosions in the Sky weren’t the last up – some local Sac band was. That was fine by me, since it was midnight by the time EitS finished anyway. Oh, and finish they did! After sitting through about five mediocre songs from another local band, the second opening act came on. A dude by the name of Lazarus was up. He mostly strummed his guitar solo and had occasional soft drum, keyboard, and rhythm backup. This guy sounded like he was about to commit suicide at any moment. He was seemingly so bitterly depressed or tortured that it was all he could do to croak out some apologetic intros to his Prozac-needy songs. The portrait of loneliness and loss, his songs had us all considering suicide by the end. I’m not saying he wasn’t talented, he was – quite talented. His stuff would be good for rainy days or breakups; or rainy days when you’ve just been broken up with, and your entire family just died in a fire, and you just learned you have cancer. Yeah.
Then came EitS. Holy crap. Right out the gate I knew they were here to rock. Tuning up and soundchecking their instruments, it was obvious that their amps went to 11. I decided that, image be damned, I would put in my earplugs and enjoy the show while also preserving my hearing for the years to come. Yeah I looked funny with neon orange foam in each ear, but it was cool with me. Heck, I’m old now? I gotta start thinking about my kids. What? Anyway, the band went from one wordless tune to the next with no pause in between. It was sometimes hard to tell song from song, with only an extended bit of feedback separating what may or may not have been different tunes. It was like one huge In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida/Mountain Jam/Thick As A Brick/Moby Dick/Dark Star/Get Ready epic. Their playing was tight and powerful, and sounded excellent. They ended with a crushing version of The Only Moment We Were Alone from The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place, grinding three guitars and smashing the drums into a wash of total noisy awesomeness. After their hour+ set, the crowd showed their appreciation with a lengthy round of applause. We split after a couple songs from the closing band, as we were eager to get some sleep and not too interested. All in all, a great show and a fun evening – and a deal for $7. I took some pictures, maybe I’ll post them.
Right now I haven’t shaved since before Thanksgiving. While it’s liberating in the sense that I loathe shaving, I’m torn trying to decide if it looks nasty or not. Sharaun seems to like it, which is I guess all that matters – but I’m still undecided. It itches. But last night at the show I saw a guy with this immense, wild, lumberjack beard – and I just loved it. I would love a crazy stranded-on-a-desert-isle beard, and I might just try and grow one. The more unkempt the better. Wonder why Gilligan and them never grew beards? Guess they either figured out how to shave with coconuts, or managed to salvage some dull-proof razors from the Minnow. Hmmm?.
Oh, and out of some sense of pity for today’s kids I decided to actually watch the new He Man. And guess what? It’s not bad at all, in fact – it’s really good. Now, the new Transformers, that computer animated crap sucks. But the new He Man was good, a lot like the old one I used to love. The action figures are still gay looking though, too pretty boy if you ask me. I think I was a little hard on the Cartoon Network the other day, there are some great kids’ shows on there. The new Justice League looks awesome, He Man ain’t bad, and I saw a couple more previews of stuff that looked pretty decent. So to the youth of America, I apologize. Your toons aren’t all that bad, just mostly bad. Oh, and stay off the fighting trading-card monster crap? that junk will rot your brain.
Bonus points to anyone who can tell me the artist of each epic song mentioned in the concert review. Dave out.