Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Live And Well - The Sthress Tour Featuring Thursday

We here at Nile River try to give just everything a chance, and view all forms of music with an open mind from a personal standpoint although the website is still dedicated to extreme forms of music. While some of you may question whether some of the bands on the last Strhess tour are “extreme” or not, some people have the interpretation that they are extreme enough, and that’s fine by us.

It was a wet snowy day in Poughkeepsie New York on February 2 as we arrived at the venue known as “The Chance” to witness my first Strhess tour. We arrived late to the show, so I was unable to see Heavy Heavy Low Low perform but did get there just in time to see Fear Before The March Of Flames.

During the set of Fear Before The March Of Flames those round hanging Japanese lanterns (the name for those escapes me) to an array of different coloured flashing lights brightened up the stage and added to their live presence. One guitarist from the band occupied the left side of the stage, and while he didn’t move from his location his threw around his long hair in the harshest headbanging session I’ve ever witnessed in my life. The bass player while an average enough looking guy did his best to throw that bass just about as hard as he could the whole time without breaking the strap holding it on. The tall, thin lanky vocalist made some strange poses as he moved about the stage half of the time singing and the other half screaming. Many art bands only wish to present themselves in a studio situation, but Fear Before The March Of Flames certainly brings a strange and yet very compelling and entertaining element to their live show. I hadn’t actually heard any of the music that Fear Before The March Of Flames had done, but I have heard the band name quite a few times. The sound quality at The Chance was very good. Hearing Fear Before The March Of Flames for the first time, I would describe my interpretation of them as an art/screamo band with keyboards and strange musical effects in the guitar and keyboard sound every now and then.

The direct support band was Murder By Death, sort of a heavy southern blues/rock band. Before the band started, they were doing sound check, and you could hear the bass player trying a couple of tunes. One person yelled out for the bass player to play “Angel Of Death”, and the bass player simply smiled at him. Since I was assuming the person in the audience was asking for a Slayer song, I figured the bass player might have a better chance at knowing “Reign In Blood” so I yelled that song name out. The bass player then did this hand symbol that resembled the Slayer logo with the 4 swords. Before Murder By Death played, I attempted unsuccessfully to do the hand symbol myself.

Despite the lack of moshable songs the venue remained packed as the audience remained heavily fixated on the band. Of the notable features about Murder By Death was the female member in the band playing an electric cello throughout most of their set, with a few stints on her keyboard with the sound effects often going for a church organ sound. One song was described by the vocalist/guitarist as about drinking whiskey in the desert, and another was about getting into a fight in a bar and getting shot in the back. Great stuff! During one of the songs, the lead vocalist for Thursday came on stage to share in some singing with Murder By Death. While the type of band that Murder By Death is might not seem to fit with the other bands on tour, they proved extremely fun to watch. After their set I got the attention of their bass player, and he broke down the elements on how to form the Slayer sword symbol proving that seeing Murder By Death can be an educational experience as well.

I had heard about Thursday trough many forms of media, and I had also read about their history as well. I had even heard of their single “Understanding In A Car Crash” yet I had never actually heard the band. I approached Thursday with extremely high expectations and an open mind (even though that sounds like an oxymoron). While many would decry the type of music that Thursday plays, I was instead thinking of them as the forerunners of the genre as they were one of the earlier bands playing their style of music around the turn of the millennium. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I couldn’t help feeling a slight bit disappointed by Thursdays set. Why? Well, with the exception of the vocalist, the other members of the band played like touring veterans who were used to concentrating on playing, so they didn’t really do much but play their parts with the exception of walking back an forth every now and then. The vocalist was all over the place though with some expected emo/girlie man antics that while some may find silly, I actually found his stage presence to be very good.

With my expectation of Thursday being leaders of their genre, I was expecting their songs to sound close to the radio standard, but at the same time for each and every song to stand out in little ways. My anticipation of having the songs stand out though was not fulfilled as many of the songs sounded very standard to me.

Between some of the songs, the vocalist spoke on how they were doing the Strhess tour out of a van instead of a bus, and playing mostly old songs before they hit the studio. That I thought was kind of cool, as I know some bands could never go back to touring in a van, especially a band as big as Thursday but the choice to tour in a van gave them some more integrity in my eyes. While not as great as I had hoped, witnessing Thursday live was still fun too see.

Before seeing the Strhess tour, I asked a lot of people some questions about what to really expect. I had heard many of the stereotypes that go along with the genre of some of the bands playing, and I found some of them not to be true. There were no crying girls in the audience, and I didn’t think that Thursday resembled a boy band with guitars (which I’ve heard many times about bands of this type). Sure, some of the members of Thursday could be considered better than average looking guys, to normal looking dudes to even a few members not being the prettiest guys on stage. It was an interesting and very entertaining experience, and not as far removed from the music I normally listen too as some people might think.


Post a Comment

<< Home