Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mission of Burma w/ Pinebender @ Double Door

I came to be a fan of Mission of Burma much later than the average indie hipster. I played them on my radio show in college a bit, but really didn’t become get fully into them until early last summer when I finally picked up VS. I think both of their latest releases are superb, so I was extremely excited for this show. They played well at Pitchfork over the summer, but the mixed crowd gave their set a bit of a distant feel. I knew this would be different.

The average age of the crowd was roughly 38, and the average gender was male. Very male. In fact, there was a huge line for the men’s room all night while the women waltzed right past us. One lady was nice enough to give us all the finger. I don’t know if it was due to their age, but the crowd gave a bigger response to their older songs. Like I said above, to me all their songs are new, and I think the current albums have more going on.

Everything was loud. People often talk about the “wall of sound”, referring to bands with a rich fuzz such as Swervedriver, or overpowering guitar solos like Dinosaur Jr., or even Phil Spector produced 1960s R&B. Mission of Burma’s sound is just as powerful, and every bit a wall. However, instead of having it wash over you all at once, they choose to catapult piles of bricks, sans mortar, directly onto your head. And they do that for well over an hour. The highlight songs were, without a doubt, Donna Sumeria, The Enthusiast, Wounded World, and of course, That’s When I Reached for My Revolver. The first three simply because they rocked the hardest. The last one because the crowd was at its peak state.

I can’t help but compare this show to the Buzzcocks at the same venue last summer, as both bands are in the rejuvenation phase of their careers. This audience was older and way more subdued. The Buzzcocks show featured a joyful mosh pit and tons of energy. But other than the divergent fans, they had more in common with one another than not. Just like the Buzzcocks, MoB got right down to business with very little chatter and fit as many songs as they could into their set. When a band is good and has a lot of songs to play, they don’t need to banter with the audience…

No comments: