Deafheaven -- San Francisco, CA -- July 15th, 2013
This was my first time at Bottom of the Hill and was delighted to find out it was a super small place with no guard rail or nothing. So me and my concert buddies Ben and Lincoln got up close and hung around the stage 'til the show started some time around 9:15
The first band of the night were San Francisco post-metal band, Monuments Collapse. Their singer also plays bass for Deafheaven, which explains their position on the bill. Their strain of post-metal was very similar to Light Bearer and Cult of Luna. They only played two songs, and they could've been the two tunes off their [URL="http://monumentscollapsesf.bandcamp.com"]self-titled debut record[/URL], but I'm not too familiar with the album quite yet so they could've played something that's not on it. Either way, their tone was fucking excellent the whole night. The sound was just crystal clear even from right in front. The only thing that was a little quiet was the vocals but since the vocalist was just shouting it didn't really matter all too much. All around, these guys were super solid openers and they got some fine post-metal under their belt. If you like that kind of music, check 'em out.
Next up was Marriages. These guys are a three piece experimental rock band which features two members from Red Sparowes, guitarist/singer Emma and bassist/keyboardist Greg. Their music is kind of hard to describe. Basically these guys kind of write unconventional sounding riffs and jam pretty hard on 'em. There are some elements of post-rock, shoegaze and noise rock, but most of the musical ideas seem fairly unique to the band and all sounded really great. While it wasn't super technical, it was obvious the band had some chops and had knew how to get badass tones. Overall a really solid band that seemed to get some love from the crowd.
So the whole time during the show, not to many people were doing much. Not much headbanging or anything, there was an overabundance of crossed arms and blank stares from the crowd for the first two bands. But the second Deafheaven got on stage after their drone and started playing Dream House, that completely changed. There was an instant eruption of energy and people were moshing, crowd surfing, and trying to get as close to Deafheaven's frontman, George Clarke, as possible. All the while George was provoking it, waving people to come over and just becoming a complete animal during the set, being hypnotized by the band's music. Now the first time I saw them when they opened for Boris, there weren't too many people going nuts, in fact I was probably the most rowdy dude during their set, George was really only doing the serious faces and only got close the crowd like once and didn't too much. But at this show with people going ballistic, it only fueled his fire and his stage presence was much more extreme. He was stage diving often, grabbing people's hand, giving them the mic, and a few times grabbing a couple of people's throats. He also did some sensual and borderline homo-erotic stuff like like rubbing his body all over and sticking his fingers in his mouth and down his throat and stuff. Also when he'd get close to the crowd people would often reach and feel his body and stuff. It was whatever, but just something I thought was interesting. My friend made the point that everybody was just infatuated with the music and turned to George to show it. Aside from the constant chaos and the spectacle that is George, the band was fairly into it and sounded phenomenal. Their current drummer is really great and everybody else in the band just gets awesome tones. Highlights were the sing alongs at the end of Dream House and The Pecan Tree. When they came out for their encore, the performance kind of took a little bit of a turn. Since it was the last song naturally everybody was giving up their last bit of energy to go nuts and there were a decent amount of guys coming up from behind the stage to run and stage dive. A lot of dudes would launch themselves off of the monitors and a couple of times that would end up fucking with the sound and one time a monitor fell over on to the bass player's pedal board and that cut his sound. And some time before that the guitarist that isn't Kerry just kind of gave up and held the guitar over his head for the last few minutes of the song and his amp was on it's side. I didn't see what happend. And then Kerry lost his glasses. The last song was just kind of a shitstorm, but at least it sounded great. Overall, this was one of the wildest shows I've gone to and was a blast. These dudes deserve every bit of praise they get.
The Pecan Tree
Monuments Collapse: 8/10
Sounds like a hardcore show which seems odd.
At least there weren't any slam dancers though. That would've made me upset. But I was kind of surprised to see so many people going just nuts, considering their "hipster" reputation and live videos of them where most people are just standing still and taking in the music, which was my experience when I saw them open for Boris.
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