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Topic ClosedPelican w/ Mono - Richmond, VA 5/12/06

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GoldenSpiral View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pelican w/ Mono - Richmond, VA 5/12/06
    Posted: May 14 2006 at 00:47
What better way to end a stressful semester of engineering school than to roadtrip to a great concert with some friends?

Instrumental post-rock powerhouses Mono and Pelican played at a small club in Richmond called Nanci Raygun.  The Life and Times were also supposed to play, but apparently got stuck in heavy traffic on I-95 and were cut from the set.  Consequently, the show got started late so the bands didn't play as long as they could have, but here's how the night went anyway:

Mono-
These guys proved that they are one of the best post-rock bands in existence and they are only getting better.  They started off the set in complete silence and slowly faded in the haunting chords at the beginning of "The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain", a song which builds and builds from nothing into a deafening cacauphony of thick layers so dense that the drums could barely be heard through the wall of sound. 
The rest of the set flowed back and forth from soft ambient guitar harmonies to screaming climaxes.  At one point the build up was so intense that the two guitarists took off their guitars and held them in front of the amp cabinets and looped the feedback through footpedals to add even more layers, while the drummer slumped over at his kit as if dead, and the bassist stood obediently facing her amp cabinet.  The resulting sound was so loud that several audience members had to cover their ears and cower in fear.  This is not to say, however, that they weren't enjoying every second of it.  Seeing Mono isn't your normal rock show.  You have to expect something very different, and that is what they give you.  These guys really get into their music and it definitely helps the audience to enjoy such weird stuff.
Mono played for about an hour, which was good because I think any more might have been too much, but any less might have been disappointing.

Pelican-
"Good evening, we are Pelican, and this set is dedicated to I-95", they announced and started into the crushing chords of "March into the Sea".  This band was absolutely triumphant.  Everything I expected and more.  When you watch Pelican live, you can really get a sense of how well composed their songs are and how well each change flows.  You can also see the difficulty of many of the parts.  It's really cool to see a band that proves that you don't need to shred to show you are a great progressive musician, especially in metal. 
Their set contained songs from both "The Fire in Our Throats..." and "Australasia", plus one song that I didn't recognize but I think was from the elusive Pelican/Mono split 12" record (which I still can't get my hands on Angry).  The band took care to perform each song to perfection, but still got very into the music physically (headbanging lives!), which I think is very important. 
Another nice thing was that the audio mix was especially good for such a small club, and Pelican's kick drums were enough to knock the wind out of you. 
They closed the set after about an hour with the song "Last Day of Winter", during which the lead guitarist used a violin bow Sigur Ros-style to create long, layered notes, as well as some weird finger-tap techniques that I had not seen before. 

All in all, a great show, everyone was into the music and the music was great.  I strongly recommend that all fans of these bands catch them on tour sometime!
http://www.myspace.com/altaic
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2006 at 14:14
That sounds like an amazing show! Too bad no exciting Post-Rock groups come to my country.
 
Looking forward to Mono's addition to the archives.
 
 -- Ivan
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2006 at 14:19
I've never heard either of these bands, but now I want to!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2006 at 09:14
Update:  6/20/06

I saw Pelican once again on the 2nd leg of this tour, but this time with lesser known post-rock band Russian Circles.  The show was supposed to be at Mr. Small's Theatre in Pittsburgh, which happens to be the best small venue in the city (probably one of the best in the country too), but at the last minute the venue was changed to the Lawrenceville Moose Lodge. 

Needless to say, this pissed me off. Angry

There were no lights and the PA system was inadequate, so the mix was terrible and Pelican's layers got lost in a sea of sludge.  The 2nd guitar was too loud and the drums couldn't be mixed correctly because the PA was too small, so the whole thing just sounded off.  Still, they played their hearts out and still rocked damn hard.

despite the drawbacks of Pelican's performance (which really weren't Pelican's fault anyway), Russian Circles actually impressed me a great deal.  I highly recommend all fans of the heavier side of post rock check these guys out.  For a 3-piece, this band really knew how to layer guitar parts and use the bass guitar to even out the sound.  They also had some rhythm and time signature changes unlike any others I've heard.  They managed to sound pretty good even though the sound reinforcement wasn't near what it should have been.

why the venue was changed I don't know, and I don't really want to know, because if I found out who was responsible they might get a knuckle sandwich Wink
http://www.myspace.com/altaic
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2006 at 10:23
Originally posted by GoldenSpiral

Update:  6/20/06
...For a 3-piece, this band really knew how to layer guitar parts and use the bass guitar to even out the sound.  They also had some rhythm and time signature changes unlike any others I've heard.  They managed to sound pretty good even though the sound reinforcement wasn't near what it should have been.
 
How is that even possible? 3-piece group layering guitars? Confused
 
 -- Ivan
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 20 2006 at 10:28
The guitarist would play one lick, loop it, and play something else over it, he also used delay pretty effectively. 

for an example, check out 'Carpe' on their myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/russiancircles

I believe these guys have been cleared by the post-rock team.
http://www.myspace.com/altaic
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