Monday, 6 October 2014

Prog night!

A few weekends ago on the 28th, I went to see Anathema in Southampton. The venue was a small (roughly 200 or so capacity) one called The Talking Heads.
I had been invited by my friend to come along with him & his parents. While I knew the band and had listened to a fair bit of their material (on his recommendation), this wasn’t a gig I’d usually think of going to myself. 

A three piece Austrian band called Mother’s Cake opened, who we only found out about a few days before the gig, when my friend saw pictures from previous tour dates. I can’t really define them in terms of genres, as they had a lot of different styles in their music, ranging from funk to prog & hard rock.

I couldn't find much of their music on the internet, so me & my friend were rather uncertain how good they would be. They honestly blew us away though, mixing funky vibes with ambient guitar and some Rage Against the Machine style rock.

Next up was Anathema they opened up fairly calmly with two songs off their latest album, before launching straight into two of their critically acclaimed songs, Untouchable, Part 1 & 2. As expected the crowd went wild. The rest of their set consisted mostly of their later, softer material, but they still played a few songs from the early 00’s, such as Closer & A Natural Disaster.
Near the end of their set, a man in the audience passed out from the heat as the room was so packed and hot. Vincent, the band’s main vocalist & second guitarist, immediately jumped off stage & helped the man out of the venue, which really was one of the those ‘the small things make all the difference’ moments.
Some of the best things their performance was the power of Lee & Vincents voices, especially with some of the beautiful harmonies they did. The strong voices added a lot more power to the overall sound.
The intimate venue also made it feel that much more special, as you connected directly with the band in a sense.
Sonically, the whole gig itself was great, as it was definitely loud (I had foolishly forgotten to bring my earplugs!), but there were no sounds that pierced your ears too much, as things such as vocals often do at gigs. There was also not a ridiculously overbearing amount of cymbal sound muddying the mix, as it often is with small venues.
I must say the audio engineers & stage technicians did a great job, as Vincent noted at the end of Anathema’s set.

At the end of the gig, I had a brief chat with Mother’s Cake and would have brought one of their CDs but didn’t have enough money with me at the time; however I did see small promotional posters for a gig I will be going to soon! I was quite happy with this, as it’s another poster to adorn my bedroom wall with. 

Anathema setlist:
1. The Lost Song, Part 1
2. The Lost Song, Part 2
3. Untouchable, Part 1
4. Untouchable, Part 2
5. Thin Air
6. Ariel
7. The Lost Song, Part 3
8. Anathema
9. The Beginning and the End
10. Universal
11. Closer

12. Distant Satellites
13. A Natural Disaster
14. Take Shelter
15. Fragile Dreams

Next up on my gig list, is Opeth, on the 10th of October! I'm looking forward to this very much, as they are on my 'see before I die' gig list.

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