Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Live Performance Reviews
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Magma - Chicago 4/10/2015 @ Reggies
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Topic ClosedMagma - Chicago 4/10/2015 @ Reggies

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
bucka001 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 16 2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 763
Direct Link To This Post Topic: Magma - Chicago 4/10/2015 @ Reggies
    Posted: April 14 2015 at 10:48
I saw Magma in Chicago a few nights ago and was absolutely blown away. I was reminded of a line I wrote for a Hammill/VdGG 'zine in '90, upon first seeing PH. Something to the effect of, "No album, video, or bootleg tape can do justice to this man's voice - I had high expectations and they were met times five." In Magma's case, my high expectations were shattered. I was not prepared for how *mammoth* and *powerful* they were. A few observations...

-- I splurged for the $50 chair up front. Glad I did. I was second row, right behind Strawberry Bricks, with a perfect sight line to CV (who was only like 15 feet away). There were only about 30 or 40 chairs, the rest of the crowd had to stand. I think that would have detracted ever so slightly from my enjoyment; this was like having Magma in my living room.

-- They were LOUD. In my own band I wear earplugs (as a drummer, no one's closer to the snare pop than I am) but I didn't wear them for this gig. My ears were ringing for two days afterwards. No regrets.

-- The vox were *on*. At live gigs, there are always a few moments where it sounds just a little flat or sharp or off somehow. I would be cool with that, especially at a gig like this where the demands on singing are high. But all three vocalists were flawless. I couldn't believe how beautiful Stella's singing still is. And then when CV did his part in the middle of MDK (a section which serves the same function as Hhai and a few others) I was just flabbergasted. His voice is still so frickin' POWERFUL. That was just an immense surpise. He sounded fantastic.

-- The music was just majestic, powerful, and brilliant. No other way to put it. I grew up with Kontarkohz (at least since my high school days) and have loved MDK for years. The musicians were phenomenal, and I'm glad that besides the standard guitar / bass guitar instrumentation, they went traditional with the vibes and a keyboardist *who just played the Rhodes Piano*. No synths (thank heaven).

-- THE CROWD!! This was a huge surprise to me. I knew it was sold out, so the packed-out nature of the gig didn't surprise me, but I wasn't expecting the *type* of crowd that there was. A very healthy portion of the capacity audience was made up of fans in there 20s and 30s, with lots of females. And they knew the material and were totally into it. Can't figure that one out. I know that 'prog' is a bit less of a dirty word these days, but Magma will never be on the cover of PROG magazine so I don't think they're riding the prog resurgence (however powerful that is). I just can't figure it out. In '09, VdGG drew a similarly healthy crowd (numbers-wise) to the Abbey in Chicago, but truth be told, there were certainly younger people in the crowd, but from what I remember the majority were people in their 40s at least. I know Goblin packs out houses with a wide age range, but that's more to do with the Dario Argento / horror film thing. Don't know why Magma has this type of crowd now, but that is really awesome that it's the case.

-- I wore my black VdGG tee shirt (classic logo) and was stopped by tons of people who loved the band. It makes sense to me that there would be a huge crossover of fans for those two bands.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I was so happy when CV took a solo vocal spot during MDK. The one thing that I don't go for in all of the old Magma videos I have or have seen, is the long solo instrumental sections slotted into MDK and other tunes. Meh. But, there was none of that in Chicago; it was replaced by CV's singing and it was phenomenal.
jc
Back to Top
hieronymous View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 27 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Status: Offline
Points: 308
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 13:13
Nice review! I was at the San Francisco show and was also struck by the age range and the number of women. 

I would be willing to bet that the internet has a lot to do with their increased popularity - more access to video and information about the band - when I bought Attahk solely based on the Giger cover in 1990 I had almost no information available to me. The Seventh re-releases in the 2000s also help - that's when I got back into them and managed to collect almost everything I could get my hands on, which was actually almost everything! 

Again I'm just speculating but could people actually be recognizing quality music? It seems that there is a dearth of good live music out there, in the US especially - add to that the recognition that this classic band from the '70s is back and better than ever - plus the fact that they rarely play here in the US - have people actually gotten the hint??? I hope so! I know for me it has taken me back to some of the classic albums like 1001 Degrés Centigrades that I haven't listened to in over ten years, and loving them more than I ever did before. 

I really hope they release a live album with performances from this tour!
Back to Top
bucka001 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 16 2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 763
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 13:36
Yeah, I started listening to the old stuff again and it's great. As far as the crowd (and the 'hip' young factor), it's hard to say that it's simply down to quality music, because one man's meat is another man's poison. To me, quality is Magma, VdGG, Can, Beefheart... the less mainstream stuff than "normal" prog (whatever that is) but many of those bands have people screaming and running for the exits. But I do know that PFM (which, to me, is more mainstream prog) played the same venue last year as Magma in Chicago and didn't draw very well at all. I doubt that some of the other prog acts that weren't 'mega' back in the day the way Yes, Genesis, ELP, etc were, would draw as well either.
 
But I think with Magma, VdGG, and a few others, it's that "critic's darling" thing. This month alone there are three VdGG articles in three different major British music mags. Then there is the thing that drives a lot of classic prog fans bonkers, but is a factor nonetheless, and that's the "seal of approval" from famous punk/metal/off-the-wall musicians. I know in L.A., a guy from Metallica went to the Magma show and got his pic with CV; he looked happier than a pig in mud. Magma is Jello Biafra's fave group. That kind of stuff has the younger generation investigating, they become fans, and turn up at the gigs. VdGG had a nice percentage of younger people at various shows I saw (Glasgow, Amsterdam, etc), and played to large crowds. It's too bad that Can will never get back together (MK is dead for one thing)... they would draw really well, and there would for sure be tons of younger people. I just don't think it'd be the same for PFM, Gentle Giant, Camel, etc who don't garner that 'hip/fashionable' sort of coverage/vibe.
 
It's one theory, anyway.
jc
Back to Top
hieronymous View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 27 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Status: Offline
Points: 308
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 14:03
Jello Biafra introduced Magma at the San Francisco show! I had never heard that he was a fan. 
Back to Top
bucka001 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 16 2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 763
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 14:12
Originally posted by hieronymous hieronymous wrote:

Jello Biafra introduced Magma at the San Francisco show! I had never heard that he was a fan. 
 
Wow, cool! I didn't know that. Yeah, JB is a fan of more off-the-wall prog. He likes VdGG and Hawkwind. Magma is his fave, though. Do you remember what his intro was like (what he said, etc)? That's too cool.
 
I have an issue of Rock N Reel (a glossy Brit music mag that actually was carried in the U.S.; sadly no longer printed) from a few years ago with an article titled Punk vs. Prog. It was one of these "In this corner, we have Peter Hammill representing prog; in this corner we have Jello Biafra representing punk..." But the article didn't go the way you'd think. Hammill didn't group VdGG in with the rest of prog, and Biafra is a VdGG fan (he also talked about Magma and Hawkwind in the article, and differentiated all three bands from the sort of prog he didn't like [Yes, ELP, etc]).


Edited by bucka001 - April 14 2015 at 14:13
jc
Back to Top
bucka001 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 16 2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 763
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 14:31
As an addendum to my last post, I have to say that the Dead Kennedys in the mid 80s is one of the best shows I've ever seen. Around that time I saw Yes, Genesis, Crimson, and others... none of them were as great as the DKs. Naked Raygun opened (they were one of the openers, at any rate, but they were the 'name' opener) and they couldn't hold a candle to the DKs that night. I think it was their last tour, as well (Frankenchrist tour)
jc
Back to Top
sublime220 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 21 2015
Location: Willow Farm
Status: Offline
Points: 1563
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 15:11
Agreed. It was amazing and loud as you stated. Highly worth the money I spent.
There is no dark side in the moon, really... Matter of fact, it's all dark...
Back to Top
Man With Hat View Drop Down
Collaborator
Collaborator
Avatar
Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

Joined: March 12 2005
Location: Neurotica
Status: Offline
Points: 142310
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 22:07
Thumbs Up

I was in NY. They seemed to have a few sound issues, but I only had ringing in the ears last night (and very faint too). I was  surprised with how utterly intense they were. 
Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.
Back to Top
hieronymous View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 27 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Status: Offline
Points: 308
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 22:10
Originally posted by bucka001 bucka001 wrote:

Originally posted by hieronymous hieronymous wrote:

Jello Biafra introduced Magma at the San Francisco show! I had never heard that he was a fan. 
 
Wow, cool! I didn't know that. Yeah, JB is a fan of more off-the-wall prog. He likes VdGG and Hawkwind. Magma is his fave, though. Do you remember what his intro was like (what he said, etc)? That's too cool.
 
I have an issue of Rock N Reel (a glossy Brit music mag that actually was carried in the U.S.; sadly no longer printed) from a few years ago with an article titled Punk vs. Prog. It was one of these "In this corner, we have Peter Hammill representing prog; in this corner we have Jello Biafra representing punk..." But the article didn't go the way you'd think. Hammill didn't group VdGG in with the rest of prog, and Biafra is a VdGG fan (he also talked about Magma and Hawkwind in the article, and differentiated all three bands from the sort of prog he didn't like [Yes, ELP, etc]).


To tell the truth, I didn't know who he was - this normal looking guy, maybe in his 50s, came out and said something like, "I don't know why I'm up here to introduce this band" - I honestly can't remember details, I think he said something about going to see them live - maybe San Francisco 1999 or 2000? - and I really don't remember anything else. It wasn't until later that someone I know on Facebook who was at the show said that it was Jello Biafra. I was near the front for the whole show, and noticed him right near us towards the end, but I don't think he was there the whole time. It was kind of cool actually, it's alright that I didn't know because I never listened to them and I could experience him as a person instead of as "Jello Biafra."

I'm sorry - I wish I remembered more!
Back to Top
bhikkhu View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Prog Team

Joined: April 06 2006
Location: A˛ Michigan
Status: Offline
Points: 5109
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2015 at 15:04
I was in Chicago too! Had my 12 year old son with me. His first concert ever and he loved it!
Back to Top
The Neck Romancer View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: June 01 2010
Location: Brazil
Status: Offline
Points: 10161
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2015 at 22:18
Originally posted by bhikkhu bhikkhu wrote:

I was in Chicago too! Had my 12 year old son with me. His first concert ever and he loved it!

Poor boy! Now each and every concert he'll watch will be judged in comparison to his first! LOL


Back to Top
bhikkhu View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Prog Team

Joined: April 06 2006
Location: A˛ Michigan
Status: Offline
Points: 5109
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2015 at 14:09
Originally posted by The Neck Romancer The Neck Romancer wrote:

Originally posted by bhikkhu bhikkhu wrote:

I was in Chicago too! Had my 12 year old son with me. His first concert ever and he loved it!

Poor boy! Now each and every concert he'll watch will be judged in comparison to his first! LOL



Oh, don't I know it. Get this, the next night we saw Primus and the Chocolate Factory. He is forever spoiled. LOL


Back to Top
hieronymous View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 27 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Status: Offline
Points: 308
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2015 at 15:29
Originally posted by bhikkhu bhikkhu wrote:

Originally posted by The Neck Romancer The Neck Romancer wrote:

Originally posted by bhikkhu bhikkhu wrote:

I was in Chicago too! Had my 12 year old son with me. His first concert ever and he loved it!

Poor boy! Now each and every concert he'll watch will be judged in comparison to his first! LOL



Oh, don't I know it. Get this, the next night we saw Primus and the Chocolate Factory. He is forever spoiled. LOL



Nah, not spoiled, you just set the bar high! Much better than his first show being One Direction or something like that...
Back to Top
bucka001 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 16 2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 763
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2015 at 17:08
One Direction is actually doing a pop version of MDK on their latest tour.

Nah.
jc
Back to Top
micky View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: October 02 2005
Location: .
Status: Offline
Points: 46583
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2015 at 19:03
Originally posted by bhikkhu bhikkhu wrote:

I was in Chicago too! Had my 12 year old son with me. His first concert ever and he loved it!


tell me that he (like me) developed a crushing LUST for Stella Vander and Uncle Micky will be a proud Uncle.
The Pedro and Micky Experience - When one no longer requires psychotropics to trip
Back to Top
Pseud0 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member


Joined: July 31 2005
Status: Offline
Points: 415
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 29 2015 at 22:36
was in the front row in new york right in front of herve (and i mean there was barely any separation to the stage which was very low down lol, it i was like i was on stage with them) and i didnt wear earplugs. it was one of the loudest gigs ive ever been to in my entire life, christian rimshots the snare so f**king loud its absurd. the super duper climax part in kohntarkosz part 2 (you know which part i mean) was probably the most intense thing ive ever seen live especially with the strobelights.., and ive seen meshuggah, emperor, you name it

it was also cool they were all just standing outside the venue an hour or so before the show started and i managed to get a picture with all of them Smile
check out those french 'smiles' lool





Edited by Pseud0 - April 29 2015 at 22:39
Back to Top
Flight123 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 01 2010
Location: Sohar, Oman
Status: Offline
Points: 1399
Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2015 at 04:21
I won't start a new thread for this but I saw Magma on Thursday 7th May in Manchester, UK.  (Set list - Kohntarkosz, MDK, Sl*g Tanz - encore: Zombies)  I think all the sentiments for the above US dates have already been expressed.  It was a superb evening.  As the band stood in silence at the beginning someone cried out 'It's great to see you again' - the band smiled and Stella explained later that this was Magma's first Manchester gig since 1974!  I can't decide the best bits - I was just mesmerised throughout.  I worry that this 'Endless Tour' may well be their last...
Back to Top
King of Loss View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: April 21 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Points: 15403
Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2015 at 11:33
Magma were amazing in Boston. A great review! Clap
Back to Top
BrufordFreak View Drop Down
Collaborator
Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: January 25 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Status: Offline
Points: 4012
Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2015 at 21:50
Love reading these reviews--especially the details and impressions. I found out too late to see them in Chicago--"Sold Out" was all I could find. They are one of the VERY few bands that I would love to see before I (or they) die. Oh, well. Bent Knee next summer will have to do . . . 

Thanks for all the posts! (More, please--hint hint!)

Drew Fisher
https://progisaliveandwell.blogspot.com/
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.01
Copyright ©2001-2014 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.660 seconds.

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.