Saturday, August 10, 2013

Midnight Eye/ Exar Kun @The Pinch 8/8/2013

I somehow was done work earlier than anticipated so accompanied to Midnight Eye's free show for their EP release in DC at The Pinch. There weren't too many people at this show that I knew (Sarah, Metal Chris, Catherine, and maybe one more person. Met Grant there too). 

I had never been to this venue, so I was not sure what to expect, beyond that I was not aware of many heavy shows being there. We made a couple passes of the Pinch, which we quickly identified by long haired layabouts milling around on the corner ;3, looking for parking. As we entered, we determined that it was a bar, and underneath there was a small room crowded with a smaller bar and a tiny stage and chairs on the side (and a Big Game Hunter arcade game).

It was pretty crowded when we got there kind of late, so we feared we had missed most of the show. We shortly found out that we had only missed Thrain (a black metalish band). Maybe next time, I could stand to hear more black metal :(  I was glad that things were running late, so that we'd hear the full set(s) of the remaining bands. But just HOW late things were running was kind of ridiculous.

The crowd seemed to be a more hipster lot, which kind of threw me off a bit.The turnout was actually pretty great- about 80 people at the high point (some of which may have been people who came to the restaurant/bar and just happened to see what's going on)- and then went down to about 40 by the time Midnight Eye was on.

The ridiculously named Exar Kun had some interesting looking white shirts ($10).  Midnight Eye had their previous CD an their new EP - Nightmonger ($5 and $4 respectively). I saw at least one guy from Thrain, but I don't think they had any merch.

While we were waiting for the next band to start, we got some fabulous fries- loaded sweet potato fries w/ BBQ duck bacon cheese and scallion!  I was still kinda hungry, and these were very rich and filling. They also seemed to have a pretty good beer selection (on draft, too), so that was pretty cool. I somehow didn't actually buy anything this evening, however. I would like to try more of their food, because the other items sounded delicious as well.

Exar Kun started pretty promptly around 10 and powered thru their short instrumental 15 minute set with no interruptions. I think they played whatever they have on bandcamp, because Milla recognized the Lordi- "Would you Love a MonsterMan" sample (somehow I missed this live). I didn't think they sounded very good, they were a bit fuzzy sounding and were not on stage for long enough to get a good vibe. I am not really understanding their deal, so I think that may have left me scratching my head. Original speculated set times had these guys to go on at 9PM.

After a massive wait of 40 odd more minutes, Midnight Eye finally took the stage... and soundchecked for what seemed to be a very long time (they were originally slated to go on at 9:40ish, I thought it was going to be an early night for once). They finally started and the song sounded kind of familiar (I only listened to their new EP on bandcamp a couple times- I was kind of interested in the kind-of-King-Diamond-demo-vocals and way better guitar work). After that song, they proceeded to take a long break. I am not sure what exactly the deal was, but there was talk of a 'blown amp.' Something like that seems like it would definitely derail a performance. They had a break after nearly every song, and the silence or the rambling really broke up whatever groove that they were hoping to achieve, IMO. They mentioned that they were going on tour and about 2 people had bought the new EP so far...  They eventually went to a cover song by a 'DC area band.' It sounded like something I'd heard before, but I couldn't quite place it. The next song I think I could make out was "Clemency." Then the last one was announced to be "Weed Helmet," which I don't see on their discography, so maybe it's a new song. Their vocalist annoyed me with his less than stellar vocals AND rambling between songs that just were unnecessary and seemed to go nowhere. Just play another song and let the music talk for you, man! Area 52 had the same mistakes- and I figured Midnight Eye has been around awhile...

Their overall sound was kind of old school, but also way more stonerish than their album/bandcamp recordings. They had some proggy and even black metal sounding passages, which were fun. The live vocals also sounded way closer to a messy "The Sword" than "King Diamond demos." I was not sure how/why their live show and recordings sounded very divergent, Needless to say, I was less than thrilled to have waited this long for something I was not expecting. But hey, it was a free show, so I can't complain TOO much. The lead guitarist, however, really saved the show for me.The leads made the songs more enjoyable, showcasing his talent. I had heard that the drummer was really good, but I could barely see the band with all the people in front of me. I eventually did catch sight of said drummer, and he definitely looked pretty into it.

I have to say that a variety of factors really made this not a great show for me. Late running times, workstress, kind of bad sound system, long waits, hard to see the band, hipsters, full of perhaps too much food, and it being hot as hell with all those people. I'd still give Midnight Eye the benefit of the doubt and try to catch them at another show, tho. I fully support more heavy music in this area. A free show, yes, but not a great show, unfortunately, IMO.

Next Show: The Cult, maybe something before that?

Exar Kun (10-10:15)
  • (Their Bandcamp song(s))

Midnight Eye (11:03- 11:52)
  • ?
  • ? (cover of a DC band?)
  • ? (single? )
  • Clemency (I think)
  • ? (Weed Helmet?)

Want another opinion? (maybe with better info on songs)