to eleven

Tight jeans and long beards: Fang Island, Caspian, Red Sparowes by Jayson
April 19, 2010, 11:32 am
Filed under: Shows | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We went to the show last night. It was a pretty good time.

I had kinda predicted a basic dichotomy in the crowd, that there would be dudes with beards there to see Red Sparowes and Caspian and various types of younger people in tight clothes there to see Fang Island. I was pretty right about that.

We got there semi-early and following my old person’s guide to shows, I got a chair.

Fang Island. If Captain America was the mightiest sorcerer in these lands, he’d wear that guy’s hoodie-shirt.

Fang Island were up. It felt like it took them a while to get into it. They didn’t sound super good in the Grog, it happens. I was super stoked when they played Daisy. It was a good set overall, but the crowd did not seem that into it.

They finished, and because it was a Sunday night show, got their stuff loaded off and Caspian loaded on pretty quick. Ever since the Grog Shop moved back in… I forget. Anyway it’s had this small problem of bands loading and unloading through the nook where the merch is. Fang Island basically had no place to put their stuff, so they ended up putting it around me. By the time Red Sparowes would come on later I had a little fort built around my chair of amps and drums.

Caspian got set up pretty quickly. Oh, and before I go any farther: bombast; crescendo. This is post-rock. You can’t write about post-rock without using those words. So, done and done.

Caspian. It is dark. They are rocking out, like, hard.

Caspian are not a band I knew much about before the show. I checked them out on their MySpace and liked ’em, so I was moderately looking forward to seeing them. They killed it though. In all honesty, they might have even upstaged the Red Sparowes. Those guys were just completely going off. Now again, assuming that you think this post-rock stuff is beautiful and stimulates the imagination and takes you to a special place, I do, these guys took me to a place that I haven’t been since Godspeed You! Black Emperor. There was bombast and crescendo and it was awesome. I loved it. The crowd loved it. Some drunk lady wanted to have their babies, her drunk boyfriend wanted to watch. You stay classy, Cleveland. One of the dudes in Caspian is 100′ tall.

They finished it up, loaded off, my fort got a little bigger and everybody left. I don’t know if it was because they were there to see Caspian or because it was 11:30 on a Sunday night, but about half of the place cleared out.

Red Sparowes. Projection.

The Red Sparowes got to it. Jason told me he thought Caspian’s massive amount of onstage rocking was too hard of an act to follow. I think the Sparowes stage show got defeated a little by the Grog’s relatively low ceilings. I can’t say for sure since this is the first time I’ve seen them, but when I saw Godspeed they did the projector thing too. Their stage was totally dark. You listened to the music and watched the movie. I think this was supposed to be the same deal. The Red Sparowes movie was a combination of a lot of nature footage and lots of computer graphics of stuff like DNA flying through the universe and subatomic particles and that kind of thing, with a bit of Twilight Zone-horror stuff here and there. It made me think of something that you’d watch for your Raelian introductory seminar or Dharma Initiative orientation or if you watched a lot of Nova on PBS. I thought they killed too though. They have two steel guitars on stage! You can’t front on that. I dug the whole experience.

And that was it. Show over. No fake encore, which is actually ok with me. The people watching was just ok. We had a guy walking around in an actual pimp coat, he looked foolish. Because it’s Cleveland there will always be a guy in camo shorts and a couple of beefy, bald guys with goatees. Hipster who would probably be totally entry level in Williamsburg but are the kings queens of Cleveland Heights. Someone is running around with 4k worth of camera. She has been at every show for the last 13 years, her face changes, but she is always there. I also learned that you have to have your keys on an exposed carabiner on a rear belt loop, it is law.

– Jayson


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