Friday, November 8, 2013

Show Review: And So I Watch You From Afar, TTNG, Mylets

LA record label Sargent House put together a solid bill that flaunted some great rock at Kings Barcade on Tuesday, November 5.

Mylets, putting out his first full-length Sargent House album next year, plays mostly instrumental music. Written and performed by himself, Henry Kohen utilized numerous pedals and samplers to play his songs. At times, he’d yell over the aggressive loop-based songs. He had a knack for making loops on the fly, a difficult task not many can do, especially impulsively to a high tier quality. His guitar riffs were layered, also taking time with the synth bass and percussion pads to build a full sound.

TTNG (This Town Needs Guns) was first of the two headliners, both of whom played full sets. The guys chatted between songs, commenting on the tour, sharing some stories and trying to pump up the audience. Given it was a Tuesday night, there was a decent crowd, but it took a while for the majority to really wake up. As you would expect from the music, a large amount of the songs were constructed with taps, pull offs and harmonics – always fun to watch this guitar style being created feet from your face. Henry Tremain, lead vocalist, guitarist and bassist, had a creative setup. He played a good bit with two guitars stacked on each other, hanging from different lengths. The top, tuned “normally,” the bottom Squire tuned an octave lower to emulate a bass guitar sound.

The band invited Mylets on stage to play a song with them, and he looked stoked, getting into the half-screaming vocals with one arm cemented behind his back as he danced around a bit. At the end of their set, they did something else pretty special. Introducing “26 Is Dancier Than 4,” the first track off of their self-titled 2008 album, they got a great response, pegging it as a crowd favorite. Tremain asked who knew the song, who knew the words, and then after a wave of cheers, who wanted to come up and sing it with him. A younger guy named Casey jumped up on stage and melted right in. Harmonizing wonderfully with Tremain throughout the set, he had no shyness getting behind the mic. At the end of the song, he respectfully and nervously thanked each of the members, shaking their hand, and accidentally interrupting a guitar riff to do so – but it’s cool, he rocked.

And So I Watch You From Afar
And So I Watch You From Afar came on a little after 10:15. They opened with songs off their newest album, All Hail Bright Futures, including “Ambulance,” a track that builds up upon a single riff with powerful beats, breaks, and shouts. Inevitably, a small pit soon formed a few people back from the front. After a few songs, I looked at the friend I was standing next to who hadn’t seen them before. When I could see her face between hair-flying head banging, she was grinning ear to ear. That pretty much reflected my experience. ASIWYFA plays very tight with palpitating energy that mirrors their music in a physical and visual way.

With instrumental shows, there are different approaches the performer-audience connection can take. From an audience perspective, it often feels like you’re sitting in on a practice and watching through a glass window, or at a theatre watching a hi-brow performance. Then, you have ones like this that play to the audience and bounce energies back and forth, transforming it to an emotive rock show. They, too, invited Mylets on stage for a song. Their tour manager also joined for a song and the group just looked like they were having a blast, and the crowd was responsive. I was incredibly happy with the set list’s flow, and they hit all my favorites, including “7 Billion People All At Once,” “Set Guitars to Kill,” and an extended version of “The Voiceless” as their final song.

The bands share the same label and are working closely doing the whole tour together. There is an undeniable level of support and camaraderie between them that made the experience interconnected, rather than seeing three individual bands at face value. 

No comments:

Post a Comment