Doo be doo
Written by Bwog Staff
On Tuesday night, Bwogger Jamie Johns braved the mosh pits to see Battles perform.
Battles have been together since 2003. Before that they played in groups like Helmet, Don Caballero, Lynx, Storm and Stress, Tomahawk. Their latest record, Mirrored, could be described as experimental, techno, new music, math rock, jazz and yet none of this explains it. Finger tapping, irregular time signatures, loops, effects pedals, keyboards, tailored shirts – the musical makeup of Battles.
The best part of seeing Battles live was watching them create their music which, on record, seems to come out of nowhere. They played so hard that one song into their hour long set, drummer John Stanier’s shirt was soaked with sweat. He took it off and kept on playing, what a beast. Watching guitarist Ian Williams, dressed in a lovely chest-baring canary yellow tailored shirt, play a note, record it on his echoplex, and then play that recorded loop was pretty tremendous. As Battles played, you could see how much work goes into their music, but they are much more than just guitar tapping and pedal pushing. The band has energy when they play live, probably more so than most “straight-forward” bands. The whole crowd was going insane during their set, especially during “Atlas.” More than anything else they’re a charismatic band, smiling and seemingly having a great time onstage. Dave Konopka (bassist/guitarist) was the unsung hero of the night, anchoring the band at the back of the stage, as he bounced around and smiled. Tyondai and Ian were the showmen; they writhed around, made faces and gyrated back and forth in front of their keyboards. John, along with his seven foot tall cymbal, was placed in the middle of the stage, and he lived up to being the center of attention by having the stamina of a race horse. Each member worked perfectly with one another, making Battles’ last US show of the year memorable. But more than anything else, the show solidified their place as the most interesting band in music right now.
(photo cred goes to billl.)