Isis - Rock Cafe, Tallinn, 07.11.2009
|Event:||Isis: European Tour|
Isis - Rock Cafe, Tallinn, Estonia, 07.11.2009 by Ivor (39)
I had my doubts whether to go see Isis live or not. However, a couple of years ago I had a pretty jaw-dropping experience seeing Callisto; this experience was to some extent repeated again almost a year ago. Having heard a bit of Isis I knew that musical area covered by Callisto and Isis is somewhat similar, Isis being artillery of the genre. From pre-gig research I also knew that Mamiffer should be something I'd like as well, and Dälek... Hmm... Well, more about that shortly, let's start at the beginning and go in chronological order.
For once I arrived at the venue in time. Or, to be more precise, on time. I barely had the time to grab a beer for myself, when Mamiffer started out. If I was cynical enough, I could describe Mamiffer as a three-piece band consisting of keyboards, guitar, drums, and a bunch of weird instruments and tuning blocks to make all sorts of various noises. However, that would not do the band justice.
What Mamiffer was can barely be described as a constant ambient sonic experience. Their music is slow, heavily centered around piano-like keyboards and melancholic sound. Their music is a beautiful ambient background created by Aaron Turner from Isis on guitar. Their music is an experiment on drums with drumsticks, chains, bells and whatnot, you name it. It's not divisible into songs, at least not live. It's a whole half an hour of emotion and melody that is so fitting the dark times of late Autumn. It felt near perfect and peaceful.
What came next, however, nearly ruined everything. Although I don't want to sound close-minded – who would now? – I can't take hip hop. I don't like it, I never have liked it and I'm willing to make a bet that I never ever will like it. At least not in this form. Why Dälek was present at this event is by far beyond me. What was even more surprising than them being present there, was that the people actually liked it and were doing whatever stuff you do during hip hop. I mean they liked it for real. For most of a bit over a half an hour of Dälek on stage I was just standing by, disconnected, almost in pain...
And then there was the fleeting moment that was comprised of Isis on stage. It was a fleeting moment because when they finished, I was surprised that nearly an hour and a half had passed. Isis was absorbing. You dig in, you pop out a while later with zero understanding of time-dimension and a feeling that this time-lapse had been just awesome. There's one more feeling that you get from such moments. It's a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of a time spent well. And Isis was good at delivering this.
However, as awesome as it may have seemed, there's always something to complain about. As is no surprise in Rock Cafe's case, Isis was a bit over-amplified and thus drowning Aaron's occasional clean vocals more often than not. As far as I'm concerned, though, Isis could as well be a purely instrumental band. As was the case with Callisto, Isis' instrumental delivery was just that good. I know very little of their material – their last album and a bit of some earlier stuff – but in their case it doesn't really matter live. It's more about the feeling and the atmosphere.
In the end, Isis turned out to be as good as I expected. The evening was a success ignoring the hip hop mishap. If you are doubting whether to see Isis or not, don't doubt. Check their sound, if it's anything you might like, fear not – Isis will definitely make a worthwhile live performance.
Isis: http://www.isistheband.com, MySpace
Posted on 09.11.2009 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
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