16 May 2011

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, True Widow, Weekends @ First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, 5/12/11

Crossing the Schuykill River bridge, someone smiled at me. Not just anyone either. A young woman, who I've been stealing glances from for months. She stood there for a full second and a half at the stairwell, looking directly at me waiting with her right hand on her hip. I sheepishly smiled, shrugged, and crossed the street. I had no time to spare as tempting as it was. The internet said there were only fifteen tickets left, and I intended on being one. I rationalized that I needed a show more than a gal anyway.
The opening band, Weekends, hail from Baltimore so naturally I viewed them in a favorable light right from the start. It also helped that it was just two guys with guitar and drums, and they switched instruments halfway through the set. They were also tremendously loud with the kind of experimental guitar work that gets me excited about live music. Unfortunately, it seemed as though my enthusiasm was not shared by a majority of the crowd.
True Widow was the next band up, and holy shit. Their latest record entitled As High as the Highest Heavens and from the Center to the Circumference of the Earth dropped back at the end of March, and is definitely recommended if Sleep-ish, doom, "stonegaze" is up your alley. On the internets, there are descriptions of them being a heavier version of Low but honestly I could never really get behind Low so I'm sticking with thinking that they kind of, sort of sound like Sleep. Simply put, they owned and did so without looking up. Big time bass, guitar, and drums that I noted to be 'enthralling'. The sounds floated out of the speakers, and the walls were coated in a mystifying fog as if to ask why wasn't this the headlining act. Parts of this paragraph may suffer from bias.
It gets to be quite difficult to do much of anything when there's a 24 ounce lager wedged in your left arm pit, and an open one in your right hand especially when the guy in front of you is practicing air guitar moves in anticipation of Trail of Dead. To come totally clean, I had heard Trail of Dead only a handful of times but felt drawn to attend nonetheless. Something told me that a psych rock band from Texas may put on a decent show. After getting over the fact that all the songs would be unfamiliar, I finished one beer opened the other and proceeded to hang out. I'm not sure what they played exactly, but their set clocked in at about an hour and a half. I dug it, most of everyone else there seemed to as well. The band was into it, and enthusiasm like that is contagious. Their seventh album, Tao of the Dead, just came out on their own label.
The headliner was Surfer Blood. I left shortly thereafter.

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