counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

May 21st, 2008: Boris feat. Michio Kurihara / Pissed Jeans / Growing

@nouveau casino

I had seen Growing last year but didn’t a clear recollection of what they did — exactly why I write these notes down these days. My second first impression was pretty good, a nice sonic assault that was physically commanding. I quickly got used to it and there was more to it than just sensory overload. I don’t know whether they turned quieter along the way or I just got used to it, but there were times when they almost got to sounding too nice. Stressing “almost”. Heavily processed guitars that turn more elaborate when getting deeper into it, a treat to my ears. I had to wander a bit to find a spot I liked due to the venue’s weird acoustics, but that was worth the trouble.

Turned out the spot I liked best for the Pissed Jeans was the one where I heard them less loudly; it is a loud place, so tuning out was pretty much impossible — not that I would have wanted to, though it came close. Pretty much run of the mill punkish mayhem, been there heard that. I might have liked them had they played first, but they sounded kinda boring coming on the heels of Growing.

Anyway, then it was time for Boris and I found myself ignoring my better judgment and drifting closer to the stage. Wata’s Orange stack seems to act magnetish on me, though I stop further than last time, when I ended up a few feet from it. No need this time, as she didn’t crouch to fiddle with pedals. A very pleasant surprise was that they had a extra guitar for this show, and that Michio Kurihara was holding it. At first I thought maybe there would be a quieter part with material from Rainbow — another great record — but that was not the case. This was the Smile tour, and they kept to that. The bad thing about it is that some parts of the set were a bit too close to mainstream metal for me. The very good thing about it came at the end. The worst moment for me was when they played statement after beginning it like message; that sinking feeling didn’t last more than a few seconds though.. It might be the same song, but the difference is why I hoped to get the Japanese version of Smile there — which I did.

Even though I didn’t like that set as much as the last time I had seen them, I did enjoy it a lot. Having Kurihara along was brilliant, he added a lot and his e-bow slides were just great. I would have been a bit disappointed had they not been getting more feedback in along the way, with a great moment when both Wata and Kurihara were using e-bows, and a tremendous final song. It was that long untitled track at the end of Smile, something I’m glad I got to hear — and feel — firsthand. The sound was overwhelming in a very good way, waves of feedback with a very nice grain to it. Maybe I shouldn’t have looked, as the flashing white lights and the final minute with Atsuo standing on his drums were maybe a bit over the top. Not! that’s part of the fun of a Boris gig, along with Takeshi’s guitar/bass; at least for me it’s a way to take it all both seriously and not. And Wata even waved and had a half-smile as they left the stage, which is probably the most crowd-pleasing I’ve seen her get.

No encore, to the dismay of most of the people left — a sizable part had left after the second set — but not really mine. I mean they would have been hard pressed to top that, short of playing feedbacker, which I would definitely love to hear live, but probably isn’t suitable for an encore. I bet that if I get the chance I’ll be coming as close to the Orange monolith as I can get away with, this record being one of favorites ever, definitely somewhere in my personal top three, possibly even inching before Public Enemy’s it takes a nation of millions to hold us back, it’s just too close to call.

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May 23, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , , , ,

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