Thursday, October 17, 2013

Primitivity @Strathmore Mansion 10/16/2013

We went to see a homegrown version of Apocalyptica/Eklipse/ people playing cellos and the like in a very energetic fashion- Primitivity at the Strathmore Mansion for their CD Release show.


We got there kind of late, only about 7 minutes or so before they went on, so we snagged a couple seats near the back. The Mansion is, well, a small mansion. the room we were in had seats for about 100 people. There were about 85 people there, so it was pretty packed. They also had a complimentary glass of wine. Not bad! Several members of the crowd looked like they were into heavy music (including one guy in a Metallica  shirt), but there were a ton of 'Old people' there too. Hey, it IS the Strathmore.

There was a short intro from the curator or whatever you call her. She gave  a  short bio about the band, who apparently all are from the University of Maryland and graduates of some program there. The 4 piece has 3 on cellos  and a drummer. No vocals, just instrumentals. WE had seen an ad on DC Heavy Metal and checked out a couple songs. Kind of like a local Apocalyptica. And she talked about their "Popup."

They started a little after 7:30, and it was a strange hybrid of a classical and a rock show. Their  frontman Loren Westbrook-Fritts (apparently my sister knows him) did all the talking, I think it is HIS band. The interludes and addressing the crowd in between songs were very low key and professional-"We very much hope you like this one, it is about the change of seasons and life, it's call Superfluous," instead of "THIS ONE IS ABOUT WOOKIEES , IT'S CALLED RIP YOUR ARMS OFF!!"  But the actual songs were 90%  them playing their classical instrumentals like rock instruments, basically. This was rather entertaining to watch and listen to the complex playing. Make no mistake, these guys and gals are rather talented.

I was only familiar with the covers they had online, so when they announced that they would play only originals, I was a little disappointed. However, since this was the album release show, it seemed fitting. But would it kill you to include a Megadeth song? I think this decision was partly because of the album release, and probably partly to establish themselves as 'not just a band that plays covers' or something. Again, I am only marginally familiar with them.

ANYWAYS, so these guys were all definitely accomplished musicians in their own right- I don't think there were any notes missed or off. The first song started, and we immediately went into a rousing rock cello song.  I think their song "Primitivity" sounded a little like Iron Maiden's "Losfer Words," but different. Other parts in many songs I thought sounded familiar, but I think I may have just been trying to hear things. Most of the songs were rather energetically and feverishly played, much to our delight. I think one song (can't recall which, maybe "Overdrive") was possibly fast enough for a pit in the mansion. But each song was rather complexly written, from what I could gather.

My favourites of the night were "Overdrive" and "Pyscho Logic " (one went into the other). The closer, "Prayer," was the slowest and most "classical" of the lot and was a bit too sleep inducing for me. IMO it was a huge a departure from the most raucous performance that were just witnessed. I thought it was a poor closer to an otherwise impressive set, going out on a whimper and not a roar.

Apart from that, I thought it was a very good show- different- but enjoyable. I wonder how they (don't) advertize, because we barely heard about it. A kind of acquired taste, a maybe a little artsy fartsy, but why not tap into that market if you can? Perhaps we should have queued up in the gift shoppe to get one of their album (signed). OH WELL. I would definitely see them again, and would recommend them with reservations (you gotta have a somewhat open mind to dig them I think, cause Primitivity is a different type of Heavy).

Next show: Obituary/ Strong Intention


Photos:
Primitivity I
Primitivity II

Setlist:
Primitivity (7:38ish-8:35)
  • Sacrifice
  • Primitivity
  • Convergence
  • Ascend
  • Forgiven
  • Overdrive
  • Psycho Logic
  • Transcendence 
  • Revival
  • Emergence
  • Prayer