Wow, quite a lot of gig reviews this month. Indeed, this was a month full of great concerts and some I will even fail to write about, that being the "Went" show I attended a few days ago. Thought about writing some words for that gig, but I was completely wrecked that night and basically fell sick due to a weakened immune system, so my time was spent in pain, despite the band kicking in its usual fashion. I'm basically still in bed and recovering, so I'll keep even this review short, but I just had to mark it on the blog in any way possible since the bands definitely deserve it.
The gig took place on last Tuesday, namely 25 October 2011, in good old "CK13", Novi Sad. Initially this was supposed to be a house show set up in a practice room by my friend Vuk, but once the local guys from Novi Sad heard "12xu" they were so infatuated with their music that they decided to back him up and organize the gig in a proper venue. I, of course, was happy to see the band play wherever, but I was thrilled that they are booked in one of the best venues in Serbia after all. I won't be talking about the venue here again, since I recently covered how awesome it is in the "Downfall of Gaia" gig review, found some lines bellow this post. Once again the venue proved to be a flawless place to host a gig, yet the only thing that was lacking in contrast to the "Gaia" show was the number of people. There was not a lot of time to promote the show properly due to the sudden change of plans, plus it was a working day, so in the end there were twenty something people, if I recall well. In any case, my friend and I arrived an hour or so earlier, yet the time flowed fast ever since I threw my gaze onto the distro brought by the bands, resulting in insane amounts of drooling, staring, touching and generally pondering about what to buy from the amazing batch of records. If my wallet was deep enough, I seriously think that I would just purchase the whole damn box filled with vinyl. In the end, a hard decision had to be made, so after the gig I walked out with two "Daitro" records...which was kinda funny since I had my "Daitro" shirt on and a button as well, so I looked like a complete fanboy. Not that I ain't!
Onto the show itself, "12xu" jumped up on stage first, grasped their instruments and took the audience for an amazing ride. Their whole set was just an enormous emotional bomb being detonated with wave after wave of extremely melodic and passionate tunes flooding over the venue. Ever since I first heard their material from the "Single Series" I tried to imagine what would their show look like, because the tunes seemed to be overtly driving and fast, rushing so much that your brain needs some time to figure out what just happened. Needless to say, the trio made out of ex-"Daitro"/ex-"The Flying Worker!" members completely overcame my expectations and put an unbreakable seal on my love for their music. They mostly played songs from their newly released LP, which I am yet to take a listen to at home, so sadly I can't accurately comment about which songs were played. Additionally, since my brain was ultimately stunned I can hardly recall which songs from the "Single Series" were included in the set, but as much as I remember "Oregon, Place Du Pont" and "Des Voix Qui Reasonnent" were performed. It was just so incredible witnessing them live and being completely carried away by the music, so much that once their audio claws stopped slashing I realized that my mind was so relaxed that it didn't pay attention to details. At one point Julien was even complaining and making fun on his own account about how his throat hurts and can't properly sing, but to me everything seemed beyond perfect. In the end, the band wanted to get off stage, but the amount of cheering just didn't want to let them go so easily, so we got a bonus song. All in all, amazing performance, one which I will definitely remember fondly.
After "12xu" it was time for "Old Growth" to leave an impression on the audience...and they carved the most positive of marks. To be honest, I briefly took a listen to them back in May when the tour was announced, so I didn't have any particular thoughts about their music and last Tuesday I wasn't aware in the slightest of ways how much I would be shaken for my lack of an opinion. So the three guys got up on stage and after some pretty sweet jokes, about woodland rain perfume and how the crowd is composed of the prettiest people they ever saw, the jam began. It all started in a slower fashion, mid tempo tunes with a sound of old rock and some interesting vocal performance, yet I needed some time to adjust my ears to something slower than the storm which was following "12xu". As their set progressed, their music somehow evolved, getting a bit heavier and faster, at times reminding me of a rock version of some of "Kylessa" work, roughly said. Their songs were extremely long, bearing several repetitive tones, yet being highly complex and detail oriented. I was standing there in front of the stage and literally enjoying and analyzing their tunes at the same time and simply providing that ability to the listener is an unbelievable merit of the band. As I mentioned above, I didn't listen much to the band prior to the gig and the song names are unknown to me, but it is remarkable how specific riffs and track sections got stuck in my head, being highly impacting and inspiring in the moments when I heard them live. I was trying to find some of their albums online, but aside of their splits with other bands my search proved futile...shame on me for not buying their records. In any case, the entire set was purely entertaining and just a huge enjoyment to watch. The last song was worth the note, since the guitar player played it without one string which previously broke. After the show when I was raiding the distro, my friend and I talked to him and he additionally said that he was way out of tune as well, so the song was horrible. In my opinion, the entire set was beyond great despite the technical difficulty, especially in the end when they managed to pull out a good song in face of various issues. The dude was so friendly and being overtly surprised that we came from another city just to see them play and in the process making fun of my shirt in front of Julien, which was additionally funny because of the bought records. In any case, I said how impressed I am with their music, so now I really hope this review reaches the eyes of "Old Growth" somehow.
All in all, great night and an amazing gig. I was really happy that I met some new nice people and also grabbing some time to talk to Julien again, to whom I previously had the privilege to talk to after the "Daitro" concert in Belgrade in 2008 and the "Baton Rouge" interview...which means he should definitely come back with "Baton Rouge" so that I can say I saw all his bands! And bring back "12xu" and "Old Growth" again, this show sparked an enormous wish to see these bands play again some day. Thank you all for a lovely show!