A Silver Mt Zion - The Middle East 7/26/2006
**bloggger is/was being a little buggy so this may get edited further**
Last night I headed to Cambridge to catch Montreal bandA Silver Mt Zion. The band, which is made up of some members of the currently idle godspeed you black emperor!
Efrim Menuck formed the band originally to learn how to score music, but has abandoned this since. Seven members took the stage about 10:15pm. This was a sight to be seen since the stage at the Middle East Nightclub is not the biggest. It seemed to work out "okay" as the band set up in a V format so that the 2 violinists faced each other and it was right down a row.
The band annouced from the stage that this was their 87th show ever, their 2nd in the USA and the 1st night of their first ever US Tour.
The band is known for long song titles as well as long songs. This proved to be taxing on the young indie hipsters.
During the show the constant talking was enough to make your toes curl up. Why do people go to shows and talk? Why? I am not saying a simple "What was that song" or "Wow that was a pretty cool solo" but full on conversations. As mentioned, the band has a freaking string section. When a single violin is used to start a song that is your cue to shut yer freaking yap. Even fans of godspeed know that the songs do that whole "quiet->loud" thing so shut it.
I'd say the venue was a tad over 1/2 full at the start, but by the end it was down into the 180's (down from say 375ish?) People were walking out. It was odd. I think it was "boring" to a lot of people. People don't have the patience to let a song "grow". There was a few times when there were 3 or 4 of the members of the band singing harmonies. It was very pretty but folks didn't want us to hear it.
Shouted from the audience at random (at least between songs) was "Hey man..we are all just fish in the sea". A little later this same jackass decided that during a quiet moment to belch. Belch he did, so much so I'd say 1/2 the venue spun around. Ahhh fueled by Pabst.
KP once said to me that nobody makes rock shows an event any more. Its all a front to go out and be seen. Its lame and embarrassing. Since I tape shows I am particularly tuned in to the asshattery that goes on around me.
The band played for a little over 90 minutes, and it was mellow, a little too mellow for a "bar" show but all in all it was great. For the first night of a tour they had no technical issues and at one point there was 7 of them signing at one point and you could hear each one of them and they were all in key.
A decent night could have been better. The crowd brought it way down.