Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Dear Hunter - Triple Rock Social Club (7/22/11)

Awesome show last night. But that's not too surprising. Here's what I recall of the set list.

Edit: here's a set list from last week, which I'm pretty sure is the same.

Never Forgive Never Forget
We've Got a Score to Settle
Mr. Malum
She's Always Singing
The Dead Don't Starve
The Church and The Dime
He Said He Had a Story
Fall and Flee
The Thief
Lost But Not All Gone
Filth and Squalor
Red Hands

the band are *tight* as they say. And while this lineup I had never seen them in. Nick, Casey's brother, is the only member who was with them the last time they played here in September of 2009. I think this may be the most cohesive group Casey's brought here. Although, the others were good too, including Erick Serna, Josh Rheault of course and Nate Patterson (formerly of The Receiving End of Sirens), Josh and some others who used to play with TDH actually have a new project coming in a few weeks called mThe Mercies.

Casey's cousin Max along with a fella named Connor and Robert Parr, who the whole show (and even seeing amongst the crowd) I knew I recognized. He had at least played with live, As Tall As Lions, at at least 1 of the 1st two shows I saw them. The last one at The Varsity Theater, he wasn't with them though. Not sure why (budget?), but it was cool to see another familiar face with The Dear Hunter last night.

The show itself was great. Energetic, and actually pretty loud at times. As you can see by the set list, it was mostly stuff off The Color Spectrum. Some of which are among my favorites like "Echo" "Lost But Not All Gone" and "Home" which is one that I almost tear up now hearing. And "Mr.Malum," man the vocal performance on that song is just immense! One of the best vocal parts Casey's ever written, and it was just as outstanding live.

As I told Casey, I think each show they've played here in Minnesota has been better than the last. I suppose at some point they may not be able to top themselves, something I'd say Fair to Midland has struggled to do the last few shows here.

But The Dear Hunter in concert is an EVENT for me. And hopefully for others as well. Hopefully they'll headline more shows here, although in chatting with Casey and Connor I believe, they mentioned coming back (or translation, ON TOUR and maybe  but not guaranteed to be back in MN) in October with Manchester Orchestra. They likely would be opening for MO though, but perhaps it will be held at The Varsity Theater.

Whether I'll be able to use my Lifetime Membership Badge for that show? it may or may not happen. Supposedly for the Non-Headlining shows, they do allow like 5 guest list spots, and as evidenced last night, there aren't many Lifetime Members too close, a couple were there from Wisconsin. But beyond them and like 1 or 2 others, sadly/luckily, unless someone travels from further out of town, I won't be likely competing for Lifetime Member guestlist slots HERE. Now if it was a show in Philadelphia, or Los Angeles or something, I probably would.

It was interesting how I walked up and showed my badge and ID and the security guy just marked my hand and I went in. So maybe they put me on the Guestlist and just never emailed me. Or maybe Casey did after I received a message from him on the Lake and the River message board.

I did mention both Falling Up and The River Empires to fans and Casey, although I didn't really get to ask Casey why he hasn't promoted/mentioned The River Empires all that much. Shoot. I also wish I had asked/mentioned to Casey about Used Bin Radio and touring with dredg and Porcupine Tree. Hopefully next time.

So, I should probably add some stuff about the other bands as well.
The Felix Culpa
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

The Felix Culpa I actually re-checked out a few months ago and have begun to really like. I saw them actually open for The Dear Hunter back in 2009 and remember liking them, but not enough to go back to them. But I don't recall if it was on The Lake and the River, 5/8 forums, or just a blog or something, but I believe their album Sever Your Roots from 2010 impressed me more than enough, that I was excited to see them again. And they were pretty good, except the fact they began at 5pm on the nose I guess, I only caught maybe their last 4 songs.

They're progressive rock of a sort, using varied dynamics, and emotional (hardcore) vocals at times. I guess the thing I want to do is go back and listen to Sever Your Roots on cd and write a more proper review of it. But my interest in them is definitely higher than it was a few months ago.

O'Brother and Kay Kay were kind of both a mixed bag. On one hand, they both had some wonderful moments. O'Brother at times were reminding me of the Doom/Sludge stuff I saw at the Triple Rock with Zebulon Pike. But they also had these softer textural sections which I enjoy. They have a debut album expected in a month or 2 (October did they say?), and I will check it out. One big reason in fact is the fact Timbre will be playing harp on like 4 songs.

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground I saw at Station 4, at the show The Dear Hunter were supposed to be at back in July 2009, but didn't make it due to food poisoning. And I recall mewithoutYou was the headlining band that night. And compared to mwY, Kay Kay was great (I never got into mwY even with the fact Timbre played with them as well, their christian element certainly didn't help). I actually recall after that show, buying their cd and thinking I would get really into Kay Kay. But I probably played it once or twice since.

Why? I'm not sure, as on paper (lots of chamber instruments, piano, vocal harmonies), I should love them. Part of what I struggled with last night is their vocals. Their lead singer isn't punchy or really upfront/strong in his vocal delivery; he doesn't really extend himself much. They played 4 new songs, and there was one track he did, which I was really vibe-ing on. I guess those 4 tunes are from a new record, so I suppose I owe it to myself to at least check that out and perhaps revisit the album I bought a few years ago.

I also should add, Howler played with 2 other bands AFTER this show at The Triple Rock, and I was unclear if I should stick around for various reasons (sleep, I went to a Midnight screening of Captain America with the gf and another friend just on Thursday), but I did. I saw Jordan Gatesmith in the parking lot behind the club and if the timing or he had been hanging outside the front of the club, I would have been able to introduce him to Casey. It should have happened, but so be it. I gave him some burned copies of TCS to check out as I don't believe he knows Casey or TDH. But it is odd in a way to have one of Minnesota's best (and youngest) musicians/songwriters in the very same place/time as one of the world's best. But neither knows/knew that. But years from now, maybe it'll be noted. Much like when I ran into Dean Magraw and Earl Root together at Pizza Luce in the Warehouse District after an Opeth concert 2001.

Howler 's performance was, fun energetic, and a bit mesmerizing at times, live last night. The single "I Told You Once" is catchy, even if it may become overplayed on Radio K. I am a little on the fence about them overall, only that Jordan's vocals heavily emphasize the punk-screaming, and their tendency to use power chords/distortion, may hurt the other parts of their music. But I will say, their best moments are really good. Almost trippy or psychedelic. Jordan told me he likens some of their music to the band Television which I can see, and I do like them (from the brief amounts of their music I've heard. Marquee Moon of course is regarded as a classic. And Local Natives played on a tribute/benefit album for them a few years ago).

I should not forget though a little bit of a rant about this show. The Dear Hunter HEADLINE here at The Triplerock, yet the only media publication that talked anything about it as far as I know, being and Jay Boller. Props to Jay anyway. But I find it still pretty PATHETIC that the Twin Cities Music Media don't give The Dear Hunter the time of day. I'm referring to Jon Bream, Chris Riemenschneider and of course the people in charge of 89.3 (MW?) and even Radio K (sorry Kayleigh). I suppose to add to that group, just the hipster bloggers like at , Citypages and even some of those people who keep blogs that others know like Culture Bully and Minneapolis Fucking Rocks blog.

I have to continue to say to those folks: WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU??? And why do you continue to SLEEP ON, The Dear Hunter's music? They were just on NATIONAL FUCKING TV, lol. They come in town to HEADLINE and at a  rather prominent/hip venue like The Triple Rock, and you don't say one fucking word about them. "It's going right under their noses"

Years from now, if/when The Dear Hunter become even a fraction of how popular they should be, I hope those folks remember this and wonder why the fuck they didn't give them their deserved attention. Is it because they're "prog"?? Well if that's the case, those people should take their heads out of their asses. The Color Spectrum is FILLED with short/radio-friendly and amazingly accessible songs that have little to no element of the common stereotype of "prog rock." But because TDH get the "prog" label, those people won't hear about them in the 1st place, or even if they do, they will decide they suck without even hearing 1 note. Which by the way, the fact they do that is fundamentally what's wrong with the people in charge/influence in the music media today, in Minnesota and around the globe actually. But Minnesota it frequently sticks out like a sore thumb maybe worse than other markets.