Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Album Leaf, Belong @ The Earl, Atlanta, GA 5/09/07: SHOW REVIEW

Maybe I'm getting old. Or maybe certain bands are meant to be seen from a comfortable seat. I used to be able to just stand in a single spot at one of those really quiet shows with no problems. Now I just want to sit down. And unfortunately most of these small clubs have nowhere to sit, which makes these type of shows kinda uncomfortable. Goddamn, I am getting old. Ah well. The first band to open were "Duet for Theremin & Lap Steel", two guys (who looked like college professors, maybe science or physics) with laptops, a theremin & a lap steel guitar. Pretty much exactly how their name describes them. They were boring. I mean, it seemed as though their "music" was so immersed in theory & experimentation that it stopped being "music". Just noise. I'm definitely not one to dismiss something just because it sounds different or that I haven't heard it before. This was just not music...and well, I didn't like it, no sir. Belong (an instrumental band) was up next, and added a much needed visual element to the show. When a band's music is sans vocals, it sometimes needs something to help pull me in..that means dancing (either the audience or the band, or both) or visuals. Belong had some pretty cool stuff being projected behind them (psychedelic/Rorschach test kind of stuff made up of overlapping images of people, trees, etc), these images were edited very well with the music and sorta became another instrument. Their music was pretty good, instrumental post-rock/drone, very...celestial. Like a more sustained and drawn out Explosions in the Sky. Not bad, but I was tired & ready to see The Album Leaf. Ready to move around a little bit, remember I'm getting old now people ;-). Ah, and move around I did. The Album Leaf does not disappoint. They were exceptionally good, and I found myself actually wanting to dance. Alright, more like bop up and down where I was standing, but it was moving around!! Their music is really soul-stirring sometimes. Like no matter how tired (or bored) I was from before, it would completely go away the second they would play something like "Always For You", "The Outer Banks" or "Thule". Hearing them live is like burying your feet in the sand of a beautiful beach at sunset on the first day of a three week vacation somewhere warm. Utter contentment.

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