Mono with Maserati - Middle East, Cambridge MA September 30, 2009
The Middle East (Downstairs)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I have been going to shows for a lot of years. In all those years there are very few that were just sorta "ehh" and the polar opposite is the shows that change you forever. As the seasoned concert goer I will sit through about anything at least once but I prefer to see/hear bands I like. I was lucky to finally see Maserati play on Wednesday, September 30. The Georgia based band was opening for a favorite of mine (Mono) so it was a killer double bill.
Arriving at the show I noticed the drum kit sitting towards the front lip of the stage. Things like that you notice. The four guys took the stage shortly after 9pm and then proceed to just kill. Most of the focus is on drummer Jerry Fuchs. For the aforementioned location of his drum kit, but also for his pounding groove laden fills. Flanked with guitarists to his left and right and bass behind him the band gave a spirited opening set.
The sound man figured out the Middle East downstairs room as well. The venue has low ceilings and things can get washed out easy. I've never had a bad time but have friends that just don't care for the venue for this very reason. Two songs in I was thinking it was the finest I had ever heard it in the room. The guy in front of me leaned to a friend next to him and I could hear him say "In all my years of coming here this is the best I've ever heard a band here". Could not have agreed more with that.
Their set list:
no more sages
we got the system to fight the system
show me the season
(a new one yet untitled, song the band has been calling it "chug")
After about 30 minutes Japans very own post rock icons (to me at least) Mono took the stage. The band still sets up the bulk of their gear so they leave the stage to a very nice symphonic piece and then proceed to run the gamut of blowing back your hair to having you on the verge of wondering what is next.
Tamaki (bass) stood towards the middle of the stage with Takaakira "Taka" Goto (guitar) and Yoda (guitar) on each side. Yasunori Takada settled behind the drum set and we were pretty much ready to roll.
The band was in fine form and each song seemed to be more engaging than the last. For as excellent as they are at keeping us on the verge, slowly building and building until they all hammer down and blow our minds and hair back there are the few dolts that need to scream during the interludes, or just have conversations. Is it that hard to sit and listen for 1hr and 15 minutes? Really? The only other thing I'd like to see is the band to move in to small theaters. They didn't sell out the 575 capacity room on this show but a small theater setting might be better for the band. Taka and Yoda sit for a lot of the show and you just can't see them for the bulk of the show. Tamaki stands center stage and really lets the music take her over. I guess I'd like to see more of the band. They are a listening experience for sure vs. a visual.
I've seen Mono at least four other times (here is one of the few reviews from the past) and this show was on par with all the others I have seen. No one stands out as being stronger and they have always had good bands with them that I wanted to see (Pelican/High on Fire for example).
Always a good show, see em with Maserati if you can for an excellent 1-2 punch.
My camera is really not the best in low light. As you can tell, but this is Yoda from Mono:
A group shot of Maserati tearing it up:
My recording of both sounds good. I'll look to upload once I confirm the set lists etc.
Mono official site here.
Maserati site here (official)
Labels: live review