Saturday, February 22, 2014

Between the Buried and Me / Deafheaven/ Intronaut/ The Kindred at Empire 2/20/2014

I went to see DeafHeaven... with some other bands. Met up with Milla, Dale, Bridget, Victoria A, and Metal Chris. There may have been more people I knew but this apparently was a sold out show and we were stuck in the back!


As I arrived around 7, I noticed that the parking lot was FULL. So I knew things were going to be ridiculous. After parking across the street, I was treated to an experience I'd not had at Empire in a while- waiting in line!  This is def good for them, and (somewhat) heavy music in general- despite what I think about these bands.  While in line I noticed that Empire has a new advertising board out front, which is nice.

Empire has made a few changes for this year, apparently- The Alchemy Room door has a big flask and is painted, there are beers on tap at the bar(!), 2 new video screens displaying menu items and advertising shows, more of that strange metal backing near the bar, and maybe something else with the lighting. These def are making Empire look nicer! The crowd for some shows I kind of am not sure what to expect. But I  will tell you what I saw: a lot of beards, a lot of flannel, a lot of quasi hipster stuff, and less than 10 men with long hair.

I of course immediately noticed that the place was already packed as I entered the main room. I checked out the merch tables. Merch- I don't know why I didn't take any pics. Deafheaven had some shirts, vinyl, maybe a CD. The Kindred had like 9 shirts, CD ($10), Vinyl, and probably a lil more. I forgot to pick up a CD. Intronaut had the best looking shirts- about 6 of them- 1 with a black metal dolphin on a couch with a bong, a dolphin grilling something, and some other odd looking animal design. They had a ton of vinyl too.  BTBAM had a lot of merch too, but I didn't recall exactly what, I wasn't really looking at their stuff.

I ordered some food and tested the beer on draft and a few minutes later The Kindred took the stage.  The frontman started things off but jumping into the crowd and doing a short crowd surfing circuit! I had heard one song on yubtub, and thought it was alright. I am not sure what all they played, tho. They had a decent reaction from the crowd and I thought they sounded decent. Nothing to go out of my way to see, but pretty nice proggy sounding, with some slightly erratic vocals- although those vocals seemed a bit buried between the guitars.  I did see one lad slam dancing/karate in the pit, with several people turning around and giving him that "really?" look.

Intronaut was up next, and they, as I had feared, were ... rather boring.  I was somehow expecting all instrumental, but there were vocals. I don't know what about it, the droning, the unfamiliarity of the songs, or just the samey sounds coming from the speakers, but I did not enjoy their set.  I think some people were into them, but I mostly zoned out- their stonerish vibe just didn't grab me.

And now, the band I wanted to see was up. The hipsterlooking Deafheaven, complete with frontman w/ short hair and gloves(?) had a sizable applause, the place sounded like it came alive!  I thought their sound was very clear from the side of the stage, especially the slower, less busy parts. The vocals were a bit harsher than on the albums I thought. I really wasn't able to recognize any of the songs they played, only that they all sounded pretty good.  There was a TON of crowd surfing and movement from the crowd during their set- I think some people were growling along, but you really can never tell.  The energy the frontman brought and how he interacted with the crowed was rather immersing. He would push fans who crowd surfed to the stage back out, slap them on the back, and even hold the mic out to the crowd (not sure any of their lyrics tho).  Regardless of their look, their black/post/proggy/whatever kind of metal esque sound was pleasing to me and they were easily the best of the night.

At the end of their set, some people did leave, or maybe they migrated to the floor!

The lights went down and people started chanting "BIT- BAM" " BIT- BAM." It took me a minute to figure out what the hell it was, cause it sounded so strange. Between the Buried and Me started with a piano and clean vocal intro (the crowd sung along as well!) and an almost deafening reaction. The first song was a whirlwind of changing tempos, melodies, conflicting notes, and some sort of energy. I really hated it, just when some guitar part was starting to sound good, the song would entirely change. I don't understand why people like them. I will agree that there must be some sort of musician/complexity thing there- but not all these people at the show were musicians. I'd rather have something sound good and be simple instead of be complex and sound like crap.  Basically their 2nd jarring song ended on a decent guitar solo, and we decided to leave on a (somewhat) high note. I don't know if I could have taken more of the discordant song structures that make up BTBAM.  So I left during the third song and hope other people will be able to tell you how awesome/horrible they were.

TLDR: If you were a BTBAM fan you'd have loved this. If not, you'd hate it.

Overall, it was an odd night, and I and still debating how much I actually enjoyed the show. I really just enjoyed Deafheaven (tho perhaps I should have just faced the wall and listened).  I think it was great that Empire had a sold out show, that this somewhat heavy show was well attended- even if all the bands didn't interest me

next show: SUFFOCATION, METANIUM, more in Baltimore!

Photos:
The Kindred
Deafheaven
Between the Buried and me

Setlists

The Kindred (7:25- 7:54)
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • Dreambender
  • ?
  • ?

Intronaut (8:14- 8:43)
  • ?

Deafheaven (8:58- 9:47) (setlist.fm)
  • Dream House
  • Irresistible
  • Sunbather
  • The Pecan Tree
  • Unrequited

Between the Buried and Me (10:14 - ?) (setlist.fm)
  • Foam Born (A) The Backtrack
  • (B) The Decade of Statues
  • Obfuscation
  • Astral Body
  • Lay Your Ghosts to Rest
  • Autumn
  • Selkies: The Endless Obsession
  • Bloom
  • Swim to the Moon
  • Silent Flight Parliament
  • Goodbye to Everything Reprise
  • Sun of Nothing