bITS 'N CHUNKS
Gang, it's time for concert season once again!
... Except I've already been to all the shows I'm tryna go to this year with the exception of a potential new year's eve bash. My Shows About Town feature is pretty consistent, but for the latter half of this year I've (to be blunt) had my shit rocked repeatedly by the ups and downs of life and depression. So I haven't felt like it!
So, rather than a thorough concert review, here's a speed run of the two biggest shows I hit up in good ol' Music City.
Haken, Leprous, & Bent Knee @ The Exit/In, 11/27
A night of progressive metal on one of the coldest damned days of the year so far, nearly knocked askew by weather troubles in the mid-west and Bent Knee suffering a road accident. Fortunately, they made it out and the show went on as planned. And for a cold ass night featuring niche metal, the joint was packed.
The weather makes sense for Leprous as they're a little more frostbitten than the others, and atmospheric. Their light show was dazzling, their music spellbinding, their image sharp; Haken is celebrating a new album, Vector, which includes the ridiculously catchy single "The Good Doctor". Please check it out above. Their set included a good amount of songs from previous albums Affinity and The Mountain. Haken is one of my favorite modern prog bands and definitely at the top of the heat of bands that "get it" - that is to say that prog isn't just extremely long songs with high pitched wailing about existentialism. But more on that later.
I ended up coming away most impressed with Bent Knee, the band I was least familiar with and the most eager to learn more about. They combine the unironic joy & pop sensibility of Jellyfish with the sophisticated posture of King Crimson and if that doesn't ring your bell as an alternative music fan, I don't know what will.
By the way, my final memory of this night was a random Nashville transplant asking if I knew of any bars around town that didn't play country music. Sorry broski, you knew what was up when you moved here.
Say, it's a prog show after all - how long did it last? I'll wager with intermissions included, about 2-2 1/2 hours. I've never been so fortunate.
Wing Tips, Twin Tribes, and Night Machine @ The East Room, 12/23
I came across this concert completely by accident while snooping around my old haunts back up in the summer, and I'm glad I did; I checked out Twin Tribes in anticipation of the show and thought, ah a good bit of proper goth.
I don't have any enlightening ruminations about goth subculture other than I'm one of those people that is of the opinion that it's not even close to dead as long as there are people out there making new music and the scene overall supports them. I prefer my goth music a little more on the punk and angsty side, but I'm never going to turn down danceable synths and reverb so loud I don't know what's going on.
Night Machine is a local project that trades in terrifying VHS horror movie synths, which is becoming my favorite genre of music. I was most surprised by Wing Tips because... well, I actually don't really care for dreampop as a genre that much. I don't know what it is, because I like shoegaze and pretty much all the other dreampop adjacents but weirdly enough not dreampop itself. Maybe it's time to turn around, though. Wing Tips had just the melody and crunch that I need - like The Cure and With Sympathy/Twitch-era Ministry had a baby and they're sharing custody.
Needless to say, despite the year I've had a fantastic time.
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...