general fuzz

Musing from a obsessive computer music composer with hippie-ish tendencies.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Massive Attack

After a fairly epic Thursday, it was difficult to drag myself through Friday. Fortunatly I had DJ Shadow and Massive attack as an incentive to put one foot in front of the other. I did have a little trepidation about the show though – it was at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, an 8000 person capacity venue. I’m starting to fear the big venues, with their $4 waters sans bottle tops.

Its funny to go to a show with a bunch of people. I’m now so used to being solo, that I had kinda forgotten about the positive and negative baggage of the group concert experience. Its awesome to hang out with friends, but its painful to coordinate people to get to a place on time to catch an opener. Fortunately, as soon as I left my apartment, I consciously let it go, thus making my travels a whole lot more fun.

I eventually met up with Lars, Dave SG, and Craig downtown and we BARTed across the Bay. We ambled our way to the venue and DJ Shadow was probably midway through his set. I guess we were meeting up with a whole bunch of folks. Elyssa sees us, and is all “uh oh, we don’t room for all of you”. Upon hearing those words, I immediately wander off by myself. The venue is 2/3’s full, so its easy to find some random strangers and plop myself down. DJ Shadow had some awesome video clips synced to his set. He brought out a couple singers and MCs. It was pretty good, though one of the MCs that was hyping up the crowd could have just shut up and DJ Shadow could have filled that void with music. I only knew a couple songs that he did. I guess he played his earlier stuff in the first part of his set. I’ve heard a bit about his new hyphy sound, but to my untrained ears it sounded like generic hiphop.

During set break I wandered back to our group of friends. At this point people were up and about, so it was easy to hang. Right when the lights went out, people returned to their seats, and it was all “uh oh, we don’t have room.” I take off again. This time, the place is full, and I can’t find a seat. Shitterkins. I eventually settle on the space between the seats and the lawn, right in the middle where the sound and visuals were best.

I was curious what the configuration of Massive Attack would be. It turns out to be a full band, two drum sets even, and a rotating cast of singers. They were really able to reconstruct their dense studio music live. I don’t think any of it was tracked – I believe all the necessary samples were triggered by the keyboardist. It sounded fantastic. Sometimes they would really open a song up for a serious psychedelic pink floyd soundscape and let the guitar player rip it up. I knew at least half of the material they played. It was pretty fantastic. The kind of show where your mind starts wandering all over the place, jumping in and out of segues of thought. The visuals were pretty fantastic as well, contributing to an out of body experience from time to time. The only real downer were the drunk people who would sometimes stand next to me and yell at each other through out the show. Why did they pay $40 to do that?

Yup, I’m old.

Oh, and it looks like PVision saw them in LA on Sunday. Rock.


Blogger PVision said...

I had some talky-crowd issues at the LA show also. I even got to hear a frat boy & girl yell drunken pleasantries at eachother over my head. Silly kids.

5:47 PM  

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