Thursday, July 17, 2008

At The Gates at The Fillmore NY / Irving Plaza

A four point breakdown of why the second At The Gates reunion show at the Fillmore was a disappointment:
  1. The .250 batting average. Four bands took the stage - Toxic Holocaust, Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour, and At The Gates - but only the wildly popular Municipal Waste had the energy to put on a really great set, complete with 30 people galloping around in a circle pit about the size of the Fillmore's floor and a full-fledged wall of death. Toxic Holocaust was fun before the Waste blew them away as a reference point; Darkest Hour was a hideous combination of generic and stereotypical that sent me running for the downstairs lounge; and At The Gates...well, there were issues that I'll get into more below. One in four good showings does not a good night make.
  2. Darkest Hour. Who keeps inviting hipsters to the metal party? Doesn't everyone realize they're just going to spoil the whole thing by trying to introduce irony at every turn? I have an idea: let's hold up Darkest Hour as an example of the bad things that can happen, and maybe this insanity will stop. A five piece band, they feature four hipsters and one token metal-looking dude on guitar; the bass player spent the few minutes of their set that I could stand to watch jumping around on the nearest available monitor looking like he was trying to conjure up Sid Vicious (i.e., strung out and slapping strings at random). I left before I spent the whole set making fun of them.
  3. Heat and Light. A note to the owners of Fillmore NY: it may be more difficult to turn a profit in these days of rising energy costs, but packing a room with people who have no compunction about shoving into each other and then turning off the air condition is a terrible idea. When sweat's pouring off me while I'm standing still, I don't want to go buy more of your overpriced beer; I want to leave. And to the light director: setting up the spotlights so they shine down into the eyes of concert goers was also a poor move. It's hard enough seeing a band on that stage from the back of the floor; shining bright white lights in my eyes just makes it worse.
  4. At The Gates. I'm still not entirely sure what bothered me about At The Gates' set, but I do know I was pretty miserable for the last half hour - the heat and light didn't help - and left before the encore, so there had to be something. I hate to assign the issue to something super subjective like band energy level (maybe I've been reading too much about baseball statistics today), but something was missing. And more importantly, most of the people around me couldn't feel it missing and were having a good time, which made everything a little worse. I'm not going to go delete my bootleg copy of Slaughter of the Soul or anything, but I wouldn't go see them again if they came back around.

No comments: