Concert review: BTBAM 4/2/09 at NBT

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Getting to see one of your fav bands live is always a pleasurable experience. But I knew the New Brookland Tavern show would be a special experience because the venue is so tiny. And Between the Buried and Me always puts on a fantastic show.  Here’s the lowdown:

It’s also a pleasure to attend a show with a group of friends instead of by myself. Going along blows. So I was happy to take along Jesse, Robbie, Trevor, and even Colt. (Colt’s first show ever…. BTBAM is a good way to lose your concert virginity. haha)

This "after" photo suggests just how hot and sweaty and totally awesome it was to see BTBAM from the very front of the TINY New Brookland Tavern
If you don’t come out of your hardcore/metal show looking like this, you didn’t rock hard enough……

This time, I’ll deal with the headliner first and work my way backwards.  We had gotten to NBT at the “doors open” time (6pm), which ended up being about 45 min early. As a consequence we were literally some of the first people into the venue (not the first people in the door, but everyone else just kinda stood around), so the five of us had claimed the front & center real estate of the stage.  That proved to be both lifesaver that we paid for constantly as 200 people shoved us against the wooden edge repeatedly. However, it was worth it (we are all agreed).  Being any further back at all raised the temperature at least 10 degrees above the human sauna we experienced at the very front, and at least we could fall forward onto the platform to avoid being asphyxiated.

Just before BTBAM played, a very short, very cool girl named Jenna mentioned that this was her first BTBAM show. At only 5 feet, she had been crushed into Jesse’s ribcage for most of He Is Legend. She mustered up the courage to ask if he would switch places with her.  We’d been standing there for 4 hours and 4 bands already, so Jesse’s first response was “…I’m sorry… but no. I’ve been waiting for this all night.”  But just before BTBAM started their set, he decided to relent and pulled her in front of him to take his spot at the front next to me. She & I hugged the floor monitor in front of us like a shipwreck victim grasps a beam to avoid being pummeled by waves! haha

the BTBAM set was great.  It looks short on paper, but they played for at least 50 minutes:
Ants in the Sky
Backwards Marathon
Ad a Diglmut
All Bodies

Trevor (center, in brown shirt) proves that a good metal show should leave you feeling like you have been run over by a truck. lol

Getting to see “Mordecai” live made my year.  Every note in every song was in place, as always. People were gripping Tommy’s legs everytime he stood on the front of the stage. I think he stomped on our hands personally.   He actually shook mine right in the middle of All Bodies — that was pretty cool. We were close enough to score handshakes from the band at the end, and to chuckle at little details like Paul shaking his head at Dusty’s decision to grab a girl’s camera and use it as a guitar slide at one pont.

Definitely a fantastic show.

As for the other bands (working backwards), He Is Legend played a couple “oldies but goodies” like “The Seduction” — amazingly fun to scream those lyrics with 300 people behind you.  They also played their newer version of “China White” and “The Potbellied Goddess.”  But otherwise, I really don’t care for HIL anymore. Skyler is obviously strung out, high, stoned, drunk … whatever.. during his shows now and that just grosses me out.

If I’d been prepared for such an experience as Telescreen, I probably would have enjoyed them more.  Mix together U2 and This Will Destroy You with a little LSD and the Discovery Channel, and you have Telescreen. They hung a big scrim curtain right between us and the stage and displayed movies and images on that while they played.  It was a 30 minute concept show, from beginning to end.  Cool enough, and I’ll probably hit their myspace. But I wasn’t really in the mood for ambient at the moment….

I was certainly immpressed by Eyris. Three guys walked out on stage and produced a ridiculous amount of sound. It was similarly ambient, but fuller, and very musically complex & interesting.  I can see Jesse’s band going in this direction once they get more experience and music-writing experience.  I enjoyed their set a lot. Those 3 guys clearly LOVED making music. The drummer sat back there and grinned as he churned out complicated time signatures and changing rhythms. The bassist and guitar player were very calm yet somehow intense, channeling a “we love playing music and are glad you guys are here to share it with us.”  The bass player had  12 string (3 strings for each “string” if that makes sense).  I dunno. Really cool.

Opening the entire show on the local scene was Diavolo, the band that sucked major ass on new year’s eve as “elvis” when the Collin Derrick Band played their Radiohead tribute show.  Lame. haha.  Tonight they pulled out solid riffs and pretty good musicianship, with a healthy dose of entertainment. But I would never drive anywhere to see them play.

All in all, a great show. We agreed it was one of the best we’d attended, mostly because of our incredible proximity to the musicians for the entire BTBAM set. Also, the sound mix was dead on, and we were getting a fantastic mix of sound coming from the stage amps themselves. Apart rom early dying of head asphhyxiation, I was very pleased.

Our Waffle House tradition kicked in twice — we caught a quick supper there when we met jesse at one on 385 to pick hm up for the show, and we refueld and rehydrated in Cola after the show. That waitress was literally shocked at the speed we were throwing back entire glasses of water and tea. haha.  We never did explain why we were so thirsty, smelled like shit and smoke, and looked like someone had doused us under a firehose before coming in.

I’m pretty sure I exchanged bodily fluids with 17 different people that night.

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