Gigs, dance, art

June 17th, 2009: Sudden Infant / Billy Bao

@instants chavirés

I had low expectations about Billy Bao, because I had seen them once a couple of years ago and remembered only some obnoxious and boring provocativeness. Not so this time, even though I got worried at first when they delivered short bursts of guitar and drum shots with long pauses in between. The guitar sound was great, but it was getting tired and I half expected them to keep doing that all set long. Wrong again, as they went playing relatively softly while Mattin’s contract was being read from the stage — they played in the middle of the room. But the best was yet to come in their finally letting go with an all out assault with a great guitar sounds. Physical and engulfing, that part made the whole set very good, giving sense to the earlier parts and finally justifying all the praise I’d heard about them.

I was more excited about Sudden Infant, who has been in relatively heavy rotation on the station lately, and Zipper Ripper especially had given me high expectations. The set turned out to be very different from what I had heard, much wilder and in my opinion just better, easily leaving my expectations in the dust. He was joined by Ute Waldhausen, whose initial appearance in a parrot’s head mask seemed over the top at first. But that prop turned out fine when she held it at arm’s length and made great use of the mics inside by moving it quickly around. She also used a contact mic inside a shoe and plenty of other tricks with those mics. Joke Lanz was more conventional in his own use of those contact mikes, rubbing one over his chest or holding one on his throat. But all that’s more about the visual aspect of the show, a little over the top but still OK. The real treat was the music, as those sounds were put into loops or just meshed together to create a really interesting and driven music, together with a bunch of samples — car horns at one point, plenty of others too. The loud and intense parts were great, but there were also great quiet moments, no less intense. A great performance I enjoyed immensely, with possibly the best use of contact mics I ever experienced.


June 22, 2009 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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