Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

DMST in Philly

Expand Messages
  • Jeff Oaster
    This past Friday I got the chance to see Do Make Say Think at the First Unitarian Church in Philly, and it was one helluva show - possibly one of the best
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 2, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      This past Friday I got the chance to see Do Make Say Think at the
      First Unitarian Church in Philly, and it was one helluva show -
      possibly one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

      First off, the venue is bizarre: It's quite literally in a rather
      large Unitarian Church, with the "stage" being where the altar is. I
      think it's an active church that figured they could generate some
      extra money by turning it into a concert venue. I wonder if they have
      specifics as to what type of bands can play there (and for some
      reason, I think that a band like Magma would be freaking phenomenal to
      see in a church)

      Anyway, the opening act was Lullabye Arkestra, which was essentially a
      drummer and a bassist, with five horn players. The drummer, who
      unbeknownest to me (at the time) was also one of DMST's guitarists,
      introduced the horn players (three of whom were also members of DMST)
      as the "Horns of a Rabbit," eliciting a slight chuckle from the
      members of the crowd familiar with the headliner's discography.

      They played a pretty decent set, and threw in a Parliament cover for
      good measure. After a brief break, the rather lame and boring Elliot
      Brood came on. They were billed as "death country" but they seemed
      more of a slightly bluegrass indie act with annoying vocals. Other
      members of the crowd agreed with me, and I was glad when they were done.

      The show was sold out, so when the Do Makes walked on stage, bassist
      Charles Spearin addressed the crowd by saying "Wow, look at all you
      guys." He went on to say that they usually play downstairs where it is
      much smaller, and thought it was pretty cool that they had such a good
      (about 300 or so) turnout. He then introduced the band as Lullabye
      Arkestra, but they would be doing a bunch of Do Make Say Think covers.
      You gotta love dry Canadian humor.

      There were eight people on stage, but they also brought out a guest
      marimba player for a few songs. She was kinda buried in the mix and a
      little tough to hear though, which was a bummer, especially since I
      think she was only with the band for the Philly show. Other than that,
      they had two drummers (one of who was a fill-in due to the regular
      drummer being sick/injured), two guitars, bass, sax, trumpet and
      violin. Here's where it gets interesting: The bassist also played
      trumpet, keys and guitar, the one guitarist played some bass and sax,
      the other guitarist played bass and keys, the violinist played some
      trumpet, and the sax player had a nice, old analog keyboard in front
      of him. I imagine that Gentle Giant in their heyday were somewhat
      similar to watch.

      They procededed to start their set in an odd manner: "Outer Inner &
      Secret" from Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn, which features a
      quiet, extended intro before building into a wonderful, swelling
      crescendo. After about fifteen minutes, they went right into another
      track from the same album (Auberge le Mouton Noir) and then I believe
      they played "Reitschule" from &Yet & Yet. Some tracks from their new
      album followed, which I've only had for a couple of weeks, but has
      been growing on me with each listen. Unfortunately, I'm not overly
      familiar with the titles, but I believe they played "Bound to Be That
      Way" and "Herstory of Glory." All in all, they played four or five
      tracks from the new album, about half of Winter Hymn, and one track
      each from their second and third albums.

      They played for a little over an hour before walking off to some
      enthusiastic applause. They came back on and played about a 20 minute
      encore consisting of three songs (as well as a really short fourth
      song with some vocals that I did not recognize) and the crowd stood
      throughout the whole thing, and then walked off stage to more applause.

      Some other random notes:

      The vocals tracks translated really well live. Prior to the concert, I
      was a bit iffy on the tracks from the new album that featured guest
      vocals, but they pulled them off really well live, with a four or five
      of the members all harmonizing and thus giving me a new appreciation
      of those songs

      The crowd was, I suppose, your typical indie type crowd - I noticed a
      lot of cool people who were trying to look nerdy, and a lot of nerdy
      people who were trying to look hip. I, of course, was somewhere in the
      middle - providing that much sought after balance of nerdy studliness.
      A fair amount of womenfolk were there - there were even a bunch who
      were there by their own will (and not attending to hang with their
      significant other)

      The sound wasn't the greatest - the mix could've been done a little
      better, and the cathedral-styled church wasn't the most friendly
      building in terms of acoustics, but the volume level was extremely
      pleasant - earplugs were not needed, and it was a welcome change to
      walk out of the venue and not experience any threshold shift.

      With all of the gripes of the music industry crying poor, I have to
      wonder if we are seeing a bit of an indie revolution going on in
      music. Explosions in the Sky are selling out shows left and right and
      cracked the Billboard Top 100 (I was unable to see them a few weeks
      back), Isis packed in the TLA, and the Do Makes just sold out a pretty
      good sized venue. It's refreshing to see that people are staying away
      from mass-produced crappy stuff and seeking out the better quality
      independent stuff. I'm assuming that a well-managed band can do okay
      for themselves by touring and playing 300 seat venues, and not need to
      do arena shows or sell millions of CDs [/soapbox].

      So to make a short story long, I was treated to an excellent show this
      past Friday, and have been listening to a whole lot of DMST the past
      few days with an even greater appreciation than I had prior(there are
      around six of their concerts over at Live Archive, including a recent
      one with an almost identical setlist to their Philly show). Check 'em
      out if you can. It was an amazing bargain at $12/ ticket

      - Jeff
    • Brandon Wu
      ... I saw them last night at the Black Cat in DC, and if this show isn t in my top 10 of shows for the year, it will have been a stupendous year indeed. I
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 2, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Oaster" <jeffoaster@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > This past Friday I got the chance to see Do Make Say Think at the
        > First Unitarian Church in Philly, and it was one helluva show -
        > possibly one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

        I saw them last night at the Black Cat in DC, and if this show isn't
        in my top 10 of shows for the year, it will have been a stupendous
        year indeed.

        I think DMST are the most interesting current post-rock band, and the
        only one who doesn't seem to be rehashing the same formula over and
        over again (don't get me wrong, I tend to like that formula, but you
        know...). I too was struck by the diversity of instrumentation, and
        their compositions really take advantage of that diversity.

        The sound at the DC show was definitely at earplugs-needed levels (I
        put mine in after the first song), but their soundman was fabulous
        and even at the high volume levels, little things really came through
        in the mix - especially the violinist. It seemed like a lot of the
        band's modus operandi was to develop a repetitive, trancey beat with
        subtle ornamentation from the guitars, and then a beautiful melody
        would surface out of the murk, on violin or horns or gently picked
        guitar. Really gorgeous stuff.

        I only have the band's three latest albums, but like them all and
        have to say that the material translated extraordinarily well into
        the live setting.

        > The crowd was, I suppose, your typical indie type crowd - I noticed
        > a lot of cool people who were trying to look nerdy, and a lot of
        > nerdy people who were trying to look hip. I, of course, was
        > somewhere in the middle - providing that much sought after balance
        > of nerdy studliness.

        LOL!

        Brandon
      • Jeff Oaster
        ... I agree with those sentiments whole-heartedly (and was a bit disappointed with the latest Explosions album because they are very formulaic). DMST s
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 2, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "Brandon Wu" <yahooooo@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Oaster" <jeffoaster@>
          > wrote:
          >
          >
          > I think DMST are the most interesting current post-rock band, and the
          > only one who doesn't seem to be rehashing the same formula over and
          > over again (don't get me wrong, I tend to like that formula, but you
          > know...). I too was struck by the diversity of instrumentation, and
          > their compositions really take advantage of that diversity.
          >

          I agree with those sentiments whole-heartedly (and was a bit
          disappointed with the latest Explosions album because they are very
          formulaic). DMST's tendency to mix things up a bit really makes them
          stand out. For instance, their latest albums throws vocals and some
          phenomenal acoustic guitar into the mix. It was great to see them
          playing for a packed house of appreciative fans.

          I also forgot to mention one of the coolest moments at their Philly
          show: At one point towards the end of one of their tunes, the
          violinist grabbed a trumpet to accompany the bassist (well, the
          primary bassist, he might have been playing guitar prior to playing a
          trumpet) and the regular trumpet player to make a brass trio.
          Excellent stuff!

          - Jeff
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.