I'll try to salvage March by running down this month's shows.
Do Make Say Think at Richard's On Richards, March 5
The opening act was Westfalia—a kid with a laptop generating some cheery ambient music. That's about it. He could have set up anywhere in the venue and done the same thing. I think if you're going to get on stage with a laptop, you should hook up an LCD projector so the audience can see what you're doing...otherwise you'd better ensure your performance extends beyond looking like you're concentrating moderately hard at certain intervals. As you can tell, I'm not sold on the whole laptop performance genre. With eight musicians on stage (two drummers, a horn section, two guitarists, bassist and violinist), Do Make Say Think offered the packed house plenty to watch. The Torontonians did well to reproduce their recorded sound live, with additional force and ragged-ass noise. I've always liked that DMST don't neglect the "rock" in "post rock"and never miss an opportunity to add some crash/bang/wallop to their compositions. Another band might contently cruise through a similar set of riffs and grooves, afraid to break a sweat or be so uncool as to get "heavy." Still, DMST's set was more racous and jovial than I expected, on both the band's and the audience's part. I had to smile when the main theme of "Auberge Le Mouton Noir" got a big cheer of recognition. Who knew Do Make Say Think had "hits"? They played a good chunk of Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn and the new album, You, You're a History in Rust. Of the new tunes, "Executioner's Blues" and its huge climactic surge—reminiscent of "21st Century Schizoid Man"—really stood out. The crowd loved it, except for possibly the couple parked next to me, who were too busy either swapping spit or staring at their cell phone to listen to the fine music unfolding in front of them. After the show, the soundman played us out with Voivod's "Missing Sequences," in case I wasn't feeling patriotic enough at that moment.
To be continued...