Alright, I’m just going to come out and say that this was the worst concert I’ve been to this year so far. However, this blame lays solely at the feet of the opening bands Pure X and Sleep Over. That sounds kind of harsh, and to be honest overall it wasn’t a horrible concert, just the worst one I’ve been to in a while. The last few shows I’ve been to had really enjoyable opening bands, but the two here failed. Rest easy and know that This Will Destroy You Sounded Great.
You could lump those two opening bands into similar shoegazey genres. Heck, they even shared the same bass player, although they went about acheiving that shoegazey sound in totally opposite ways. Sleep Over were an odd bunch. They looked like the band geeks from high school, and I’m talking about the band geeks that weirded out the “normal” band geeks. The lineup consisted of two female vocalists, one of them playing the guitar and the other on keyboards. They had another guy on keyboards who also ran the drum machine, and then the common bass player. The music was chaotic to say the least, I never found much band harmony here as it just sounded like four people trying to play louder than the other guys. The singing ladies put their vocals through so many effects to sound spacey and echoey that you couldn’t understand any of it. I’m not just talking about the words they sang either, it was hard to tell if they were singing on pitch or anything, and they often sang overtop one another which also added to the confusion. I’m pretty sure they were going for a sound something like Beach House, but it came off as just a big clustercuss. I did enjoy the last song they played, it was a little more subdued and they actually sounded like a band playing together.
Pure X was just a guitarist/singer, a drummer, and that bass player. As these guy played it became harder and harder to distinguish between songs. Everything just sounded the same. There was a lot of effects on the vocals again, although not to the same extent. The singer didn’t really shake things up at all. he did a half talking half singing kind of thing that was pretty mellow and then occasionally he would jump up into his falsetto and throw down some oooh’s to awe us, but I wasn’t impressed. There was a lot of distortion on his guitar as well and he constantly strove for that fuzzy wall of sound from struming fast and hard. Nobody ever did anything to shake things up, and overall it was a pretty forgetable performance. I finally got to listen to some music that I enjoyed while This Will Destroy You set up. The venue put on The National’s High Violet in the background, which appeased me until the main attraction was ready.
This Will Destroy You lived up to their name. They released a new record this month, and so I’m assuming a lot of what they played was from that because there was plenty that I didn’t recognize. Their new stuff seemed to keep moving into the more ambient direction they’ve been slowly migrating to, but still had some powerful moments. It was fantastic when they did play a few of the songs I was familiar with. It was mesmerizing to get lost in the buildup to “There are some Remedies Worse than the Disease” and “Burial on the Presidio Banks” and then glory in the intense soaring heights of the climax’s. It was a real treat when for their encore they played “Quiet.” The guitar melody on that track is just breathtaking. They sounded amazing and were a lot of fun to watch, and it was as equally good to just close your eyes and get lost in the music. All the dissapointment from the opening bands was gone and you couldn’t help but leave feeling great.