Saturday, January 20, 2007
Concert Review: Strhess Tour - Heavy Heavy Low Low, Fear Before The March of Flames, Murder By Death, Thursday - 9:30 Club, January 19, 2007
Myself and a dear friend who, like most, never reads this site, went to The 9:30 Club last night to catch the Strhess Tour featuring Heavy Heavy Low Low, Fear Before The March of Flames, Murder by Death, and the headlining Thursday.
Because I was being a hugely neurotic loser, we missed Heavy Heavy Low Low because I was panicking over a missing iTunes music folder at the time we meant to leave.
Fear Before The March of Flames, however, we were not lucky enough to miss. With a singer who thinks he is in the headlining band, from the nondescript tee to the flailing about on stage just like he is Thursday's Geoff Rickly (wanna bet he likes to be called Geoff in bed?), a guitarist/singer who is a mockery of Tom DeLonge from Blink-182, March of Flames is living proof that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that obvious emulation of your idols will doom you to suck.
Murder by Death, with a severely juxtaposed name considering their sound, is an unassuming 4-piece with a drummer, bass player, singer/guitarist, and cellist. That's right. A bona fide, electric cello player. With a country swagger, singer Adam Turla might think he's more of a heavy metal Johnny Cash, but I'd put him somewhere around a Nick Cave meets Clutch type of guy with a band that knows just how to complement his sound. All in all, MBD is a pretty unique group, with songs that tell stories reminiscent of salt-of-the-earth country stars of yore.
When Thursday took the stage, launching into "At This Velocity" from A City by the Light Divided, it became apparent that I did not realize what I was in store for. This band lit the place on fire, with Rickly carrying on a healthy conversation with the audience (and even giving big ups to Katy Otto from Exotic Fever Records, a label previously mentioned here), and covering all the bases for their fans, with the commercial favorite "Signals Over The Air", a moving rendition of "Sugar In The Sacrament", "Division St.", "For The Workforce, Drowning" and the encore which closed with "Jet Black New Year". Rickly's stamina never wavered, as he managed to maintain quality vocals through the modest set (about one hour, with encore). Guitarist Tom Keeley was quite impressive, delivering what I thought to be a very pure performance, reproducing the album sounds very well. And fans of Circa Survive will appreciate the cameo by that band's singer, and the long, heartfelt embrace given to him by Rickly.
The Strhess Tour stops at The Norva in Norfolk, VA tonight, and continues through February.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.