Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Isis - Paradise, Boston, MA June 5, 2009

Paradise Rock Club, Boston MA
Friday, June 5, 2009
Support - Pelican, Tombs

Friday night Isis ripped through a 90 minute set in front of a sold out (packed to the gills honestly) set at the Paradise in Boston. Isis, who were a "Boston band" for a few years relocated to Los Angeles a few years back, but when they come through their hometown it is often a great set as friends and family come in in droves to support the band.

Currently on the road to support their 2009 release "Wavering Radiant" the band focused on the new record but did dive into their extensive back catalog as well.

Singer/guitarist Aaron Turner took the stage and waved hellos and the band, after some quick tuning were right into it. The sound was deep and booming and the band was really feeding off one another. Keyboardist/Guitarist Bryant Clifford Meyer had a rather laid back role at times focusing on the keyboard vs. the guitar, but when he did play there were three guitars going. Bassist Jeff Caxide has the most "punched' bass I have ever heard (live or studio). I am not sure what effect he uses but his bass notes have this unreal "chime" and punch all at the same time.

The set didn't lack on pure power. The band really can fall in to an extensive heavy hitting groove and the band was feeding off the energy. Turner, who sings with the gruffest howl of anyone making music never waiverd, I am not sure how he feels at the end of the show because it sounds like it "hurts" and he has no backing vocal support. That can be the "put off" point for some fans, and even the audience was barking out requests emulating Turners voice. Personally I have to say I do prefer their instrumental stuff more, but the last few records have focused on vocals, so I don't see them reverting back, at least full time ever again.

Chicago band Pelican was the middle slot band. The band recently changed labels (now on Southern Lord) and touring on the bulk of their 2007 release "Cities of Echos". They opened with "Far from Fields" from the aforementioned record and proceeded to really get the audience into their set. Guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec. Lebec with his non stop head bop feed off the break neck back beat and rhythm of brothers Bryan Herweg (bass) and Larry Herweg (drums). Trevor de Brauw is also on guitar and he also plays like this is his last show, just putting it all out there. The band has a new ep called "Ephemeral" of which the title track was played. The biggest treat of the night came when after about a 30 minute set we were informed it would be last tune. Odd I felt since Isis was not due on stage until 11:20 and it was only about 10:30...but the band launched in to an epic version of their track "The Woods". The studio version is a 12 minute plus gem, but this extended that beyond my expectations. The audience, was left like the band, exhausted and elated.

**sorry I didn't see Tombs**



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