Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

We’ll Come Back…If We Can…

March 1, 2007

We’ll Come Back…If We Can…

Heavy Heavy Low Low, Fear Before the March of Flames, Murder By Death and Thursday

Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA February 3rd 2007

I love Heavy Heavy Low Low. All the guys are awesome, they’re very chill and they put on a great show. The show they put on at Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA, on February was no exception. The guys walked on stage and immediately began ripping the faces off the crowd. At one point, a guitarist began licking a metal pole while pressing his guitar against the pole to get feedback. Then both lead singer Robbie and guitarist Danny dove into the crowd while continuing to play. (This immediately sent Chameleon Club security into a panic. When one band member jumps in the crowd they pull him out, but which one do they get out first when two jump in?) As the set ended, I honestly was worried that I had seen the best set of the night. Then Fear Before the March of Flames took the stage

While they weren’t playing the usual brand of spaz-core, Fear Before broke out some new material that featured the more melodic side of lead singer Dave Marion. The focus on the new material of their 2006 release The Always Open Mouth threw a few kids for a loop, because they were expecting the spaz-core, circle pit, “I want a bloody face” show that the band’s sophomore release Art Damage created. After about a song and a half, the crowd warmed up to Dave and the rest of the band. About half way through the set, the band broke out with two tracks from Art Damage, and subsequently a number of kids were dragged out of the venue for attempting to create a circle pit. But the show went on and as the final song was revving up, Dave climbed onto a ledge on the wall and sang the entire last song from the wall…until doing a front flip off the ledge for his second venture into the crowd for the night (we’re pretty sure Chameleon won’t be inviting them back anytime soon).

The next band up, Murder by Death, looked the odd man out of a line-up filled with spaz-core and post-hardcore. Their most recent album In Bocca Al Lupo was a step toward folk and a step away from the ambient post-hardcore of their earlier albums. Most of the crowd was expecting to go check out merch and have a drink while Murder by Death played, but from the first note, the entire crowd was riveted to the stage. Instead of promoting their newest stuff, Murder by Death went at the crowd with the best of the best, pulling songs from every record they released. This included crowd favorite “Killbot 2000.” Even mellow songs from their 2006 release were rocked up through jaw-dropping solos by cellist and keyboardist Sarah Balliet and guitarist/vocalist Adam Turla. The band walked off the stage to wild applause from a crowd that had expected nothing from this spectacular band.

Before going any further I want to inform you, the reader, a little about my bias toward Thursday. I’ve been listening to Thursday since 2001. They are the reason I got into underground music and their first full length Full Collapse still amazes me every time I listen to it. Until the show at Chameleon Club, I had only been presented with one opportunity to see them (which fell through due to an ugly fight with an ex…never mind you don’t care). The key is that I was very excited about this show and I was terrified that I would be disappointed.

I was far from disappointed. Thursday put on the most intense performance I have ever seen and moved the crowd in a way I have never seen before.

After opening with “At this Velocity” from their latest release A City by the Light Divided, Thursday jumped into a set that mixed old and new, which gave both new and old fans something to get excited about. Honestly, the Thursday set remains a bit of a blur. Lead singer Geoff Rickly put on an intense show that appeared to act almost as a religious experience for some of the crowd. The band played every “single” they’ve released including “At This Velocity,” “Cross Out the Eyes,” “For the Workforce Drowning” and crowd favorite “Jet Black New.” The lasting impact from the show was the band’s final song “Autumn Leaves Revisited.” The song is long and mellow and the use of it as the final song is in deep contrast from the usual ending for most bands, but for Thursday, the use of a mellow ending fit almost too well.

I’ve been waiting to see Thursday for almost 6 years and they did not disappoint, but neither did any of the other bands on the tour.

-Scott Landis

rebassist66@comcast.net

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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