Monday, November 2, 2009

Mount Eerie Played Market Hotel - Review, Pictures

On Halloween we stopped by Bushwick's Market Hotel and took in what's probably the most holiday-appropriate show we've ever seen: Mount Eerie headlined a night of music that served to emphasize the band's progressively darker direction. Not only that, but they also brought along a couple of bands that were far darker, Liturgy and Malkuth, and presented them to a crowd that was unquestionably enthusiastic. We don't know whether it was the Halloween vibe or simply a crowd shift of Mount Eerie's fan base, but one thing was for sure: Phil Elverum has embraced his dark side.

The night started off with a set from No Kids, and the band delivered a set of synthy dance-pop that was enjoyable, if not a tad on the typical side. Interestingly, the band's drummer is in Berlin, so Phil Elverum has been filling in as drummer for the tour. We're not sure if it affected the band's sound much, but we're guessing no: Elverum did a solid job holding down the parts. Probably the most intriguing thing about the band was that, for a relatively simple stage setup, they managed to get an incredibly full, fleshed out sound.

No Kids were followed soon after by Malkuth, and at that point, things got loud. We're going to admit: our vocabulary and knowledge of the metal scene is limited, so if we step on any toes here, we apologize. That being said, Malkuth delivered a set that was unquestionably drenched in feedback, noise, and most noticeably a distinctive drone. The band's sound was built around two guitars playing off of each other, and driving forward repetitive riffs which, to be frank, at times reminded us of live Velvet Underground records.

Liturgy was up next, and things that had gotten loud, stayed loud. The band were all done up in their Halloween-best: Kiss face makeup abounded. Their set started out with a cacophony of layered vocals that reminded us more than a little bit of some Liars records. However, from there the band stabbed straight into a set that was built around a foundation of heavily distorted vocals and guitars. The crowd was receptive, and the band clearly had more than a few fans in attendance.

After two hours of actual metal, the return to Mount Eerie was surprisingly mellow. No matter how much noise or edge there is to their new record, it still felt like home after so much aural aggressiveness. Elverum's voice was in top form, and the band managed to create a depth to the sound that allowed for astonishingly solid recreations of the record's arrangements.

Not only did Mount Eerie's touring band consist of all the members of No Kids, but it also included two drummers, who came together to allow for a sound that was a mass of layered percussion and analog drone. Thankfully, the mix was extremely well delivered, and despite the massive sound of the instrumentation, the vocals (which, let's be frank, are a huge part of the draw of Mount Eerie's sound) were clear throughout.

While the entire set was rock solid, we have to say that our favorite moment was an almost-dancey version of "Between Two Mysteries". It rounded out an evening that was an homage to Mount Eerie's continuing evolving sound, and Phil Elverum's embrace of more and more genres as his musical vocabulary expands. Was it for everyone? Probably not, but was it interesting? You bet.

Mount Eerie is on tour now.

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive