Friday, June 11, 2010

Concert review: Cymbals Eat Guitars, Mariage Blanc, Big Hurry

Cymbals Eat Guitars, Mariage Blanc, Big Hurry
Monday May 3, 2010 at Brillobox
with Lisa, Deepak, James

Loud Quiet Loud is not just the name of a movie about the Pixies; it's also a perfectly apt description of this show, in more ways than one. The first of the openers, Big Hurry, played a loud and dance-worthy set of tunes with their signature punk/synth/jam rock sound smothered with lead singer Kelly's soothing yet urgent vocals that seem to be beamed in from an overhead satellite. I've seen them a number of times around town, and they seem to keep getting better. The second opener, Mariage Blanc, wasn't exactly quiet, but their indie chamber pop stylings were markedly different from the other two bands. Their stage presence was much more polished and confident than what I remember from the last time I saw them, and they supposedly have a full-length album in the works and almost complete.

Cymbals Eat Guitars played last and they themselves rode the loud-quiet-loud wave like pros. Most of the songs were from their debut album, Why There Are Mountains, except for a couple of songs that the singer noted were new (but unnamed, as far as I know). One of the more striking elements of their album is the ability to switch from interludes of soft strumming and hushed vocals to frantic string-shredding and yelling, but equally compelling is how those big bangs of sound don't feel forced or loud-for-loudness'-sake but rather exuberant and perfectly-placed. The live show was no different. The crowd fell quiet (for a Brillobox crowd, at least) at the right moments and alternately rocked out when the loud parts stormed in, which was quite often. The band even offered free earplugs at the beginning of their set, and I should have taken their offer. Oh well. I also found a link on the band's
website to this blog post referring to lead singer Joseph D'Agostino as the “sweatiest front man” around. I concur.

Review by PGH Music Report featuring videos from the show
Review by SITKOT, with a shoutout to Big Hurry's awesomeness
"Wind Phoenix" live on KEXP
"And The Hazy Sea" live at Brooklyn's Northside Festival (amazing guitar solo)
"Cold Spring" live at Pitchfork Festival 2009

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