Monday, February 29, 2016

Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, and After the Burial – Skyway Theater – Minneapolis, MN

I was in the mood to check out this fashion-core/metal-core/prog-metal/skeedle-dee-dee show, since I’ve been a fan of these bands for a while. I wasn’t expecting the hour-long line to get into the place, nor was I expecting the guy yelling through a bullhorn about Jesus to accompany me while I stood in line, but I eventually made it inside JUST in time to see After the Burial begin playing.

I like most of what I’ve heard from After The Burial (ATB). They’ve got some good breakdowns and chug parts, but watching them live was pretty disappointing. The drummer looked bored while playing some pretty awesome parts – he’s a fantastic drummer, but seriously boring to watch. The entire band was a little finicky and didn’t show any passion or stage presence at all. The band had a TON of prerecorded parts in the background, so you really couldn’t tell who was playing what – which was hilarious because the guitarist played only the solos and the chug parts, the rest was all pre-recorded. Makes me wonder why they don’t have a second guitarist (but I think I know…). They were working in a new bass player, so they swapped  between two different guys. The newer guy kept looking at his left hand while playing, which made me laugh because he’d even watch his left hand while playing the chug patterns (which is all right hand stuff). All of these guys did a lot of standing around for such a huge stage – lots of toe-pointing and posing (skinny jeans and comb-overs all around). I’d much rather listen to these guys on CD than watch live. Pretty disappointing, overall.

I’m a big Veil of Maya fan, even though they get a little sing-y from time to time. They make up for it with talent, creativity, and time changes. When they started out, they had some sound/PA problems, but they kept playing right through it like pro. Well done! They moved around the stage a ton, including the guitarist who was really… uh… spinny. Loved it. The drummer played with an earpiece in to stay in sync with the pre-recorded background, but he did it flawlessly. Sometimes when that happens, the drummer audibly speeds up or slows down to keep with the track. This guy nailed every entrance and beat and totally played with flair. He also played hard, which is something I’m a fan of – he made it look like he was absolutely killing it – difficult to do when you’re playing amazing tracks with your hands and feet. Fantastic performance (despite also having lots of skinny jeans) (I’m just kidding about the skinny jeans – it’s my way to be an old guy and complain about things that don’t matter at all). Seriously fantastic.

Born of Osiris is one of those bands that I can’t get enough of. Yes, I know they get sing-y and yes, they’re noodling around on their guitars, but seriously, they have mad skillz. I’ve seen  them a few times, but this one was the weirdest time. They had a pre-recorded background (sense a theme here?) that started before the actual song and then ran past the end of the song. The downside of this was people had NO idea when the song was starting nor when it was over. The band would quit playing, but then there would be this outro part playing so no one would clap or cheer. VERY weird. The songs would roll in and then never quite end. Again, you couldn’t tell what the guitarist was playing because of the soundtrack. Sometimes, you’d look at him during the solos and he’d be strumming chords. The same went with the keyboard player – there would be a killer keyboard part and you’d look over at him and he’d be holding out chords. I guess he already played the fancy part in the studio and didn’t want to risk it live – kind of a waste. The lighting was REALLY weird on the band, as well. There wasn’t a single light facing the band. Every light on stage (above and behind) was facing the crowd from behind the band. Their faces were always in the dark and you couldn’t see what they were doing very well. I’ve never seen anything like that before. Also, mad props to the guitarist who was dressed in impeccable Nordic metrosexual knee-length sweater with a big cowl and black skinny jeans with a precise tear in the left knee. He had black calf-length boots (nice ones)  and was sporting a beautifully styled and manicured large red beard. CLASSY. Overall, this band is still amazing to listen to and to watch, but some of the stage stuff probably didn’t work as well as they had intended them to.

I had a good time at this show, but aside from the combovers and skinny jeans (and me being 20 years older than anyone there), there were a couple of other things I can point out about this show:

  • There were a lot of first mustaches
  • The newest thing, apparently, is crowd surfing while selfie-video-singing
  • Finally, if you’re going to shoot video or snap photos with your phone, don’t splay your fingers as widely as possible like the Wu-Tang/Batman logo. Just be a little more discreet and polite

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