Venue: House of Blues
Source: Yours Truly (for the bands that matter), with some help from setlist.fm (for AAL
Even though the Meshuggah set list is essentially the same as the night before in Toronto, I'm posting this because (1) I have a few details to share that no one else has mentioned yet for the other shows on this tour, plus (2) IntrOnaut seems to have switched up their mid-set pick, plus (3) I will be posting links to a couple of videos (eventually) and photos (maybe), plus (5) you people know damn well I just can't keep my mouth shut about a Meshuggah show.
Set lists for now, details later tonight if I can break free after the kids are in bed.
...so that never happened. Nevertheless, here is my somewhat belated but still extremely sexy gig report.
The evening started quite appropriately with some pre-show crammage at CHIPOTLE, BITCHES
We got to the venue a bit early, and I searched for petrovar, whom I couldn't find. The place was more crowded than I thought it would be, but that was a good thing.
When IntrOnaut started their set, I noticed that the sound mix wasn't quite the best for them, but then again that was obviously because they were an opening act and the main soundboard settings were made with Meshuggah in mind. Oh well, they ruled anyway. Their set was:
The Literal Black Cloud
I'll tell you what - for only having been allotted time for five songs (about 30 minutes), this set was fucking great. "Milk Leg" was a great opener, "The Welding" is one of the best songs on the new album, "Core Relations" was a more than welcome surprise in lieu of "Past Tense", and I don't even need to talk about the last two songs (BTW, I got videos of both of them and plan to post them on YouBoob at some point). Heavy as fuck, enough said. IntrOnaut killed it, and the night was off to a great start.
I have been looking forward to seeing Animals as Leaders "by accident" for some time now, and I'll just say that they surpassed my expectations a bit. They are quite tight live, and the visuals add to the proceedings quite nicely. I overheard someone say that they thought Tosin Abasi was (is) one of the best guitarists alive on the planet, and even though that guy was probably a fanboy supreme with extra cheese, I can't say I totally disagree. The group's second guitarist and drummer ain't too fucking shabby, either. The last two tracks were especially great. I got a video of "CAFO" and will try to post it sometime this century.
Animals as Leaders
Do Not Go Gently
Wave of Babies
(Thanks to petrovar for confirming the above set list for AAL.)
Then it was time for the mighty MY-SUGAR
, and perhaps the best news of the night was that they were back to the "extended" set list, since Jens was supposedly feeling somewhat better (more on that later, though, because he definitely wasn't at full force yet as of this evening...). The set started with "Swarm", which was a great opener, and one of the songs I was bummed they didn't play on the first leg of the Ophidian Trek. When the opening notes of "Combustion" rang out, the place exploded, as it was officially confirmed that we were probably going to get the same set list that the Toronto crowd had gotten the night before. Then came the rare gem of "Transfixion" from the DEI album, which rocked. I'm pretty damn sure I've never heard the title track from obZen
before, and that bitch is fucking sweet. Hearing these three ass-kickers before the four-song slug of Koloss
tracks was just what the doctor ordered to get the night started off right (not that I dislike Koloss
, but sheeit). Speaking of which, "Behind the Sun" didn't suck as much as I'd feared, but I still much prefer "Demiurge" if they're gonna play something down-tempo. Just sayin'. Anyway, the other Koloss
songs were sweet, and so was the mid-set treatment from the Catch 33
album, which this time around included the very awesome "Shed" at the end of the MM/IDIL/IDID trio. That was tits. I love the creepy robotic vocals on that track, and they did the song that way live. Another song from Koloss
that they didn't play on the first leg of the Ophidian Trek (at least to my knowledge) was "Break Those Bones...", and much like ultra-heavy sloggers such as "Lethargica" and "Demiurge", it proved to be quite effective in a live setting.
Their complete set was:
Behind the Sun
Do Not Look Down
The Hurt That Finds You First
I Am Colossus
Mind's Mirrors (tape) [mid-set break, which Jens needed badly
In Death...Is Life / In Death...Is Death
Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion
Straws Pulled at Random
Dancers to a Discordant System
So, this was my fourth time seeing the mighty MESHUGGAH live, and as always, they ripped my fucking face off - even though Jens was clearly doing his best to remain upright during the set. Satan help him, he looked like he'd been rode hard and hung up wet by the end of the night. Still, he motored through an hour and a half of intense awesomeness, and for that I give him four horns way the fuck up. His screams were right there where they should have been, it's just that he wasn't as animated as usual, and his eyes were on the floor most of the night. Every other time I've seen him, he has always made a lot of eye contact and motioned to the crowd a lot to get them jacked up, and to me he was more in survival mode that night. So be it - the fucker was violently ill mere days before.
Other random observations I would make:
IntrOnaut is a great opener for bands like AAL and Meshuggah, due to their penchant for odd time signatures and ultra-heavy bottom end and reliance on rhythm to make their point.
AAL are a great opener for a band like Meshuggah because of their ultra-precise playing style and tendency towards progressive elements (including, again, the occasional odd time signature).
Meshuggah's merch is just unfair. I wanted to buy all the shirts. (I won't go into designs and prices, as others have covered that already in other gig reports).
I would have thought IntrOnaut would have some more cool shirt designs available, because I've been to their merch table before, and left empty-handed only because of the lack of sizes available. This time, they only had one design, which is presumably on the new album artwork, and it was just kinda OK. They did have all of their CD's available though, but I already have them all, so I passed. That is, except for the Null EP, but for some reason they were charging $15 for it like all the other discs, and as much as I like IntrOnaut, I ain't payin' $15 for an EP. Sorry guys.
Speaking of IntrOnaut and the merch tables, though, I did have a chance to meet the entire band after the show. I told them they needed to do a proper headlining tour for the new album, and they assured me that plans were in the works to do just that later in the year. Fucking nice. I asked about openers, and they couldn't say yet, but they said if things turned out the way they hoped, it would be epic. Sounds good to me.
That's about all I can think of for now, and I gotta get up early tomorrow, so I'm gonna leave it at that for the moment. If you haven't seen this tour yet, you need to (that is, if you live in Canada or Cali). If you missed it, then you fucked up, son.