View Full Version : Red Sparowes -- Cleveland, OH -- April 18th, 2010

04-22-2010, 11:38 PM
Well, I finally got a chance to look at my videos from this show, and thus I can post at least the set lists for Red Sparowes and Caspian now. I'll do the gig report sometime this weekend, because it's late as fuck already and I can't keep my eyes open for much longer. So without further ado, here's mud in yer eye:

Venue: Grog Shop
Source: Lil' ol' me and my videacamra :D

Red Sparowes (~60 minutes)
A Hail of Bombs
Giving Birth to Imagined Saviors
We Left the Apes to Rot, But Find the Fang Grows Within
Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, and the Air Filled with a Reddish Glow* :rocker:
A Swarm
A Message of Avarice Rained Down Upon Us and Carried Us Away into False Dreams of Endless Riches
In Illusions of Order
As Each End Looms and Subsides :rocker::rocker:

(* - with the ending of "Mechanical Sounds Cascaded Through the City Walls and Everyone Reveled in Their Ignorance" as an intro sample)

Caspian (~45 minutes)
La Cerva**
Moksha :rocker:
Quovis / Further Up / Further In :rocker:
Sycamore :rocker::rocker:

(** - Both of these songs had pieces parts / samples from "Mie" mixed in as intros, I believe.)

04-23-2010, 07:18 AM
They picked the good songs off their new album, but only one song from Red Heart and Soundless Dawn?

Oh well, I'm sure it's still gonna be amazing tonight.

04-23-2010, 11:22 AM
That's awesome to see that they threw in a song off Aphorisms. And although they only played "Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, And the Air Filled With A Reddish Glow," that's basically my favorite song off of At the Soundless Dawn. This is looking like it will be an amazing show.
Do you know if they were selling the LP of The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer, as I'd rather buy it at the show (opposed to going up to Portland or deal with shipping)?

04-23-2010, 02:51 PM
They definitely had the three studio albums (Soundless Dawn, Red Heart and Fear) on CD. They did not have Aphorisms on CD (which is the only one I still need). I don't recall which ones they had on vinyl, but I do remember seeing vinyl at their table - most likely it was the new album on vinyl, and maybe some of the older albums as well. The shirts were looking nice, but I already had one.

Caspian had CD's and vinyl of all three of their albums (the first two albums have just recently been re-pressed on CD, which I didn't know until I talked to them at the show...I snagged them both :fist:). They also had some cool shirts and also a hoodie for cheap as balls - like ten or twelve for the shirts and only twenty-five or so for the hoodie. I would have bought some clothing from them, but all they had was XL and smaller, and I need XXL at least, if not XXXL, so I get schkrewed a lot at shows. :violin:

EDIT: By the way, I haven't written my gig report yet, but I'll give you a preview. Both Sparowes and Caspian were phenomenal, and you guys are in for a real treat with Fang Island as well. I thought they were fanfuckingtastic, and so did many other audience members. :rocker:

EDIT2: Both of the set closers for Caspian and Sparowes were fucking phenomenal. Neither band could have ended their set better. :rocker:

04-23-2010, 06:33 PM
I believe that Aphorisms was only on 12" and digital download. But nonetheless, I do appreciate the information on the merch.
On a side note, I'm just glad to see that a show like this is coming to Eugene, let alone an all ages venue (since I still have a year to go). And for $10 :party:
I never seem to have enough spare cash to drive up to Portland, where most shows go to...

04-26-2010, 11:29 AM
Well I guess it's time for my slightly belated gig report...hopefully it's helpful to someone! :snivel:

I arrived just in time for Fang Island's set. I had listened to them quickly via samples on their MySpace page, and I don't remember being all that impressed. However, what I saw when I got to the Grog Shop was quite interesting. There was a drummer in the back (who was quite good, BTW), with four guitar players (one was a bass, obviously) lined up across the front of the stage. No one player was further forward than the rest - creating this impression that they were all of equal status within the band. They jammed hard, and played fun riffs a la Torche (not in the doomy sense, but in the upbeat sense)...and then they sang. All four of them. At once. In harmony. And it totally kicked ass!

I was truly impressed. I bought their self-titled CD, and I have been jamming it non-stop ever since this show. These guys are incredibly fun on album, and even better live. I don't know why that didn't come across the first time I listened to them online, but I'm not surprised, since I always say that judging a band solely by what's on their MySpace page can be myopic and could lead to non-discovery or dismissal of some seriously good music one might truly enjoy. These guys really fit that description. Seriously - you need to check out Fang Island. Anyway, enough about these guys - the story continues!

Next up was Caspian. I went straight to their merch table after the Fang Island set, and found out to my surprise that they did indeed have both their debut EP You Are the Conductor and their subsequent full-length The Four Trees for sale on CD. I had almost 0% hope of this, because I'd heard that they were both out of print, but little did I know that both had recently been re-released (like last month). Yay, me! :dance: They had some decent shirts for sale, too, at dirt cheap prices (see above), but nothing in my size. I also had a chance to ask one of the band members - Erin, I believe - if they were going to be playing anything old that night, and he hipped me to Moksha (one of my favorites), and the one-two-three punch of Quovis / Further Up / Further In. Nice. Now I was really stoked.

In short, Caspian's set raged. Caspian are just about as good as post-rock gets. I've still never seen the likes of Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You live, but on album, Caspian is just as good if not better, and they certainly did not disappoint on this night. The highlight was without a doubt their closer, which is the closing song from their latest album, Tertia (which you need to own if you like post-rock, BTW). The song Sycamore starts out slow and simple, and really has only one repeating melody, but true to form, Caspian builds on this simple singular element to create a composition that becomes an absolute behemoth by the time it exits. Seeing it happen live was incredible. The album version finishes with a flourish of drums at the end, and when Caspian plays this track live, every band member (save bassist Chris Friedrich) leaves his axe and picks up the sticks, to the point where there are four people smashing the shit out of various drums and cymbals (some of which are brought in from the side of the stage, some of which belong to drummer Joe Vickers) in a seething grand finale. Awesome!

After this phenomenal set, I felt like Red Sparowes had their work cut out for them. The bar had been set high. Fortunately for us all in attendance that night, the mighty Red Sparowes was up to the task. They opened with the track "A Hail of Bombs", which is one of the highlights of their latest album. It was even better live than I'd expected, and a great set opener. After another solid track off the new album, Sparowes visited their 2008 Aphorisms EP with an excellent rendition of "We Left the Apes to Rot...", which was also surprisingly better-than-the-album-version-even, live. What a phenomenal track. Then, they went old school on our asses. :fist: Now I had hoped that if Red Sparowes played anything from their debut album At the Soundless Dawn, it would be one of the first two tracks. Fuckin' bingo. The first sounds in the five-slot were actually from the end of the track "Mechanical Sounds...", which served as a lead-in sample to the mighty "Buildings Began to Stretch Wide...". All I can say is..."DAT BASS!" :eek::rocker::eek:

After that, it was time to bust out the pedal steel guitar, bitches. Greg Burns did this via the track which serves the same purpose (which would be that of busting out the awesome) on the new album - the song "A Swarm", which of course was excellent. Next, we were treated to a second helping of pedal steel guitar by way of the track "A Message of Avarice..." from the Every Red Heart... album. This song is not bad, although I would have preferred something like the album's opening or closing track, or perhaps "Like the Howling Glory...", but nevertheless Sparowes continued to delight (and things were only about to get better). The next track was one of my favorites off the new album - the sneaky "In Illusions of Order". I call it sneaky because it starts out very groovy, but eventually ends up building to a crescendo in the middle that will crush your skull, only to subside for a while and then do it again at the end. It's one of many Sparowes tracks that abuses us in this sublimely enjoyable way.

Then came the set closer. I was hoping they would play the closing track from the new album in this slot. They did, and oh, my. Example number three of the evening, where a track turned out to be even better live than on album. Unlike the previous song, this one does not begin innocently and then surprise you later on. It starts slowly, yes, but it is ominous from the very first chords. You can tell something creepy and awesome is building, and even if you've heard the track before, you're still not 100% ready for it when it comes. The crescendo in the middle of this song is actually somewhat hopeful in its tone, but that's just a cruel set-up for the end. After subsiding back into creepy melody for a short time, the second and final crescendo sweeps over the listener like a tidal wave, leaving nothing but wreckage. And like I said, it's even better live.

Wow. What a night. One awesome discovery, followed by a truly excellent performance by one of the most under-rated bands in post-rock, followed by an hour-long crusher of a set by the mighty Red Fucking Sparowes. And all for only ten measly got damn dollars. You can't beat that shit with a stick, my friend. Sweet Satan, I love the indie scene.

Get your ass out to see this tour if you have a chance. If not, check out CD's from these people. They definitely deserve your time and money.

The Nat :horns:

04-26-2010, 12:20 PM
Despite being one of the few on this site that seem to enjoy post rock, I definitely do appreciate the review.
I'll definitely make sure to check out Fang Island now (wasn't too impressed when I checked them out online), seeing as their live performance seems to be much better.
Caspian closing with Sycamore, with that immense build-up, is just going to be, um...:bliss:
And for Buildings Began..., I can't even imagine the insanity of that. :drool:
But man, after reading that review, it's just excruciating having to wait until next Sunday for this show. I definitely think I'll also be needing to be damn frugal this month in order to make some belated purchases at this show.

04-26-2010, 01:03 PM
But man, after reading that review, it's just excruciating having to wait until next Sunday for this show.I seem to have that effect on a lot of people. I consider it a compliment. ;)

04-26-2010, 06:57 PM
But man, after reading that review, it's just excruciating having to wait until next Sunday for this show.

The wait is excruciating, but therein lies the answer.


04-26-2010, 07:33 PM
Did I make the right choice in going to High on Fire over this?

04-27-2010, 06:32 AM
Did I make the right choice in going to High on Fire over this?
Wow - that's a tough question. The thing about both shows - which I've seen them both - is that EVERY BAND ON THE BILL was awesome both times. Usually you don't get that. It really comes down to what kind of music you like / appreciate more. For me, that's a tough call, because I have big love for both styles. It might come down to a game-time decision of whether I'm feeling more post-rock or sludge / doom that particular day.

I will say that I screamed my damn fool head off a lot more at the HoF show, but really that goes without saying given the musical styles of the two shows - and that's not necessarily the only measure of fun, either.

Have you seen the bands on either tour before? If so, I might venture to say that the other tour might have been a good call because then you'd be broadening your horizons even more, but beyond that, it's really hard to say which one would have been a better opportunity. Both shows were fucking sweet, so any way you look at it, you made a good choice to go rather than not. :fist:

Oh...one more angle you could look at...what are your chances of seeing the bands in question again anytime soon? If this were the criterion, I might recommend the Red Sparowes / Caspian gig just because they tour a lot less than the others, but again, the only losers in a quandary like the one you were in were the folks who stayed home.

04-27-2010, 08:15 AM
Did I make the right choice in going to High on Fire over this?

Apparently, Caspian isn't going to be at any of the CA shows, so unless you're really into Red Sparowes, I'd go with High on Fire.

04-27-2010, 10:33 AM
jotun is right. BUT...I just looked at the dates for this, and discovered that (a) these shows are not on the exact same date, and (b) the dates are in the future - I thought this is something that had already happened. So there is still time to get your Red Sparowes ticket in addition to High on Fire. You know you want to. ;)

(But seriously, if you already have a HoF ticket and don't have the time and / or cash to go to Red Sparowes, you probably made the right call.)