Last Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 As Tall As Lions took the stage to open up for Mute Math.
I wasn’t familiar with them, but I ran into a friend at HOB (House of Blues) who had come just for them, which is always a great sign. My friend also told me that the lead singer had a polyp or something else equally uncomfortable going on with vocal chords recently. Luckily, we seemed to catch the band in full recovery. Their sound is really lush, with really pleasant vocals and the addition of horns on many of the songs. There doesn’t seem to be any videos posted from the performance I saw, but this clip of their song “Go Easy” from the Luxury Wafers Sessions should give you the idea:
The Mute Math part of the show was just indescribable. I’ve seen them four times and they’re definitely in my top five for live shows (and I’ve seen quite alot of shows…). There is this halo of unbelievable energy surrounding their performances. In terms of their sound, they remind me of a sort of cross between the police and radiohead. Their albums are really pleasant to listen to but the music requires the live experience to breathe a real life into it. Paul, the lead singer, is generally hopping around stage and jumping on top of his piano to play keytar. Darren is a fast drummer; so fast, he tapes his headphones around his head with duct tape to keep them from flying off. The band effortlessly switches instruments with one another during portions of the show and produces intensely rhythmic sonic moments. Instruments have been broken and concussions have been incurred during some of their shows. The most rock-n-roll moment of the evening was when Darren beckoned the crowd close, sturdily set his bass drum on top of their eager hands, stood on top of the drum (with some looks of concern from both the crowd and the band members on stage), and dove into awaiting arms to crowd surf. Very, very, cool…
Here’s a few clips from the Boston show. Sound is reasonable, and shaking on the videos are minimal. :
Partial Clip of “control”:
“Spotlight”, the end is indicative of the energy of their shows:
Alway’s their closer, “Reset”, they let the crowd play this funky homemade sort of instrument: