Live Review: A Place To Bury Strangers/The Big Pink @ Neumo’s 3/12

review by Jason Kinnard | photos by Alex Crick

They should have called this show: Smoke Fest 2010. Take 4 really loud bands, add seizure inducing strobe lights, a lot of shoegazing, and about one too many smoke machines, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a big Friday night show. Neumo’s was stacked for a great bill including: io Echo, A Place To Bury Strangers, and anticipated UK headliner: The Big Pink. This was a nice little SXSW tune-up show.

So, of the opening bands we care to mention – io echo surprised a few people in the crowd (including myself) with their over-the-top depiction of a stoner/psych/shoegaze band. As the waves of smoke wafted in, they rolled thru a heavy stoner set of loud rock and cleared the sinuses of the crowd as they prepared for the cascading loudness that was soon to come. As the smoke continued to roll in (seriously, can you turn that thing off?), the band laid out a 60’s psychedelic vibe on one song, and then WHAM! – they hit you with a little My Bloody Valentine, draped in the appropriate pink hazed smoke that looked like a live representation of the Loveless cover art. It’s a band I wouldn’t mind listening to again, I just might have a better seal on my earplugs next time. Worth more investigating.

Next up were New York rockers – A Place To Bury Strangers – this is where the amps get turned to 11. The stage set-up was simple, low-lights, strobes on the floor, and projectors facing out into the crowd. The band is known for their loudness and they quickly gave the audience an introduction to their punishing live show. I love shows where you can “feel” the music, and you could definitely feel it as the band ripped thru their new material and a few old favorites before ending in a blur of lights, smoke, and feedback. A Place to Bury Strangers are the kind of band that “dares” the audience to ask for more; needless to say, there was no encore.

And finally, we made it to the headliner – The Big Pink. This is a band we’ve been watching for a while (they are from the UK). I had the 7″, been rocking the full-length on Vinyl, and was excited to see how the live sound fleshed out. On a bill like this, I knew they would be loud too, I just had no idea what to expect. It was their first Seattle show so they showed appropriate love to the city and our rich music history (p.s. we love that…) and got the crowd hyped. Even though the band shared some shoegaze elements with the other bands, they were also twice as energetic and engaging with the crowd. The music sounded great in a live setting and brought the new album to life. Of particular note was the R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S Smashing Pumpkins cover, and crowd favorite – DOMINOS which they saved until the last song in their set. In the end, I couldn’t tell if they were a Pop Band or a Rock Band, but we were in the front row loving every minute of it…


~ by clickdagger on March 15, 2010.

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