I went to this gig, at the Rickshaw, which is located in BC's most infamous neighbourhood, the DTES, quite spontaneously. I didn't find out they were even playing until the Monday evening before, and I knew I had plans for early Saturday morning. I was not keen on getting home by transit at 2am and then having to get up for another event only a matter of hours later. But I was really wanting to see Agalloch, since I know they don't tour much. I'm not even a huge Agalloch fan, but I have a friend who is and I know she adores them, and has even followed them around on mini tours in the EU. This was a show that might be a one and only occurrence for me, and she encouraged me to go. So, as my roommate packed up to go for a date, I prepared myself to go to the gig, alone, in the DTES. It was a bit of a ride on the wild side, considering the transit trip home and the event next day. But what the hell? I had nothing better to do, the cover was $20, and I thought it would be a good experience.
|Haley Weiner of Eight Bells|
In fact, these two bands turned out to be one of the most interesting parts of the evening. Both are female fronted; in fact, Taurus is a female duo. While neither plays my cup of tea musically, I was impressed with them both live. Granted I came to the gig late and missed most of Eight Bells' set, but as soon as I sat myself down and started listening, I regretted not coming earlier.
But Taurus stole the evening for me. They play a type of metal I am not into at all, sludgy, drony stuff that didn't seem to me to have much rhyme or reason, and very little in terms of vocals. Basically, we have a guitarist and a drummer, and some electronic thingy making the vocals all echoey. But the thing about it was that their set, which consisted of the two tracks from their EP Life (which I wound up buying eventually), included not only a visual component comprised of a silent video show on a screen to the side of the stage, but the music was bookended with a voice over narration featuring a guy named John Cage, apparently a composer of some distinction I'd never heard of before. Well, I know who he is now. The speaking parts in Taurus's set can be heard in this YouTube video, and when combined with the music of Taurus, I had quite the transforming experience. The narrative by Cage provided a lot of context for me, and it really made the music make sense to me, whereas, had it been just on its own, I think I would have been lost. But I found the set quite mesmerizing. I was really impressed by the sophistication and power of this band, and I appreciate that I was introduced to another metal subgenre in such an enjoyable way.
Agalloch's music was great to listen to live. I'd heard some of their studio work, but their live performance was much more engaging and emotional. Lead guitarist Don Anderson was very animated, and the bass player, Jason Walton, was also interesting to watch.
I couldn't stay until the bitter end because I had to make sure I caught a certain bus home. It turned out to be a very interesting transit ride home, but that is a story for another time.
I am very glad I went to the gig. I had a good time even though I was by myself. I had the delightful surprise of discovering two new female fronted bands, and I enjoyed Agalloch a lot.
Next up at the Rickshaw is Korpiklaani - again! this will be their 2nd headlining show in Vancouver in less than a year - WTF? - supported by Tyr. I am going to go and see Tyr (Korpiklaani doesn't do much for me but I really like Tyr) on Sept. 9, and then on Sept. 21 Swallow the Sun is supporting Kreator. I just hope the Rickshaw sorts out its air quality issues. That was very unpleasant, but then again, I don't think Korpiklaani or Tyr or these other bands are known for their incense use.
The full Flickr set - such as it is; I don't have a fancy camera that takes good pics in these dim environments - is here.