The last time Intronaut played near me, there was a huge ice storm that prevented me from going. I was not pleased. So a 4 hour drive from the Twin Cities was not even a concern for me. I met Sarah, Coach, Tara, Jim, and Smalls at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines for this stellar show.
I missed the opening band(s) due to the fact that I was starving – see the post on the Royal Mile. But I walked in to see Intronaut saying who they were and starting the show. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this show. I absolutely love these guys. It’s a sick combination of metal and jazz. The bass player has some serious jazz chops and drives the jazzy portion of the sound. The guitarists are extremely good and don’t play stupid power chords. There were some real chords being used as a weird mix of metal and jazz. Hard to explain. The drummer was an absolute machine with all kinds of time and temp changes and insane accents where you weren’t expecting. They played some new stuff which was insane. I can’t wait for the new cd to come out in a few weeks.
Behold…The Arctopus played next. Three piece insane tech metal act with a catch. They have two guitarists a bass player and a drummer. Sounds like four but it’s not. One of the guitarists played a twelve string, thick necked “war guitar”. Let me try to explain: Imagine two guitar necks fused together to accommodate twelve strings. Six regular strings and then a six string bass above that, but strung inverted. So you’ve got kind of a high-low-high stringing. The guy tapped both parts at the same time. Absolutely insane arpeggios. He looked like he was playing piano, while jumping around and flailing about. This going on while the other guitarist, playing a standard guitar, shredded some of the most intricate patterns I’ve ever heard. The drummer sounded like he was soloing the entire time, yet, everyone seemed to follow him like clockwork. People stood there in amazement, not sure who to watch. I bought their DVD which shows multiple 3-pane shots of all of them playing. It’s awesome.
While Arctopus was playing their last song, the Intronaut guys stormed the stage and dismantled the drumset while he was playing. Everyone was cracking up, but the drummer kept going with like 2 drums and a cymbal. It’s SOOO nice to see bands have fun on stage.
Mouth of the Architect played next. I was unfamiliar with them, but Sarah reminded me they were a sludge band. If you’re not familiar, that means you play excrutiatingly slow repetitive patterns for like 10 minutes. It’s terribly boring. I was worried that I might drive home at 35 mph after listening to them. I left after song two (which sounded exactly the same as song one)(and just as boring). Which got me home far earlier than I expected.
If you are looking for some extremely talented musicians playing metal, then look no further than these two bands. I will also commend the venue for having amazing sound as well (though I suspect, the bands have their own sounds dialed in to be perfect no matter where they were playing).
Top 5 things about this show
1. Behold…The Arctopus
3. The jazzy bass player from Intronaut
4. The 12-string war guitar
5. Cheap merch!
Top 5 bottom things
1. No 2X shirts – come on, I’m tubby
2. Mouth of the Architect
3. The bathroom was REALLY exposed
4. A LOT of tight punk rock pants on the guys
5. Didn’t get to hang with Jim and Sarah after the show