Dredg - Rock Café, Tallinn, Estonia, 27.09.2011
Dredg - Rock Café, Tallinn, Estonia, 27.09.2011 by Ivor (45)
There are times when I wonder where the hell am I located as far as gigs are concerned. It kind of seems to defy logic. Sometimes we get big acts over here which is nice and all. Sometimes, like the case of the upcoming Rammstein tour, they play everywhere around, anywhere, actually, but here; which, as you can imagine, is pretty annoying. And then there are small acts that are virtually impossible to see because it seems obviously not profitable to even try to bring them over. However, sometimes I'm genuinely and pleasantly surprised, even more so if a gig of a band I like is announced only about 2-3 weeks in advance. I mean, I didn't even think there was a remote infinitesimal chance of Dredg playing practically on my doorstep. Imagine my surprise when I discovered myself wrong.
As a dutiful gig-goer I got to the venue about an hour after the doors, just in time to grab a beer and prepare for the first of the two warm-up acts, Panic Inn. I generally try to make a point of seeing warm-up acts even though I don't necessarily believe in them warming up anything. Unfortunately, at times I want to label warm-up acts as cool-down acts instead, as they have turned out to be incapable of a good enough performance too often. For obviously, you know, they are there to cool you down from your tiresome walk to the venue. Which makes me wonder why I even bother.
Anyway, it's not necessarily the band's fault and I genuinely sympathise with guys from Panic Inn. Trying to please an empty hall is a tough business. The band's got some groove in their music, though, and could probably kick-start a truck with the heavier side of their repertoire. However, blocks of concrete are a formidable opponent and as tough an audience as you can get. You could practically see the empty venue echo back at them and there was little they could do about it. It looked like the scarce audience would be arriving later in the evening for the main act only.
The situation somewhat improved by the time the second warm-up act Aides got on stage. However, it should be noted that a semi-circle of a couple of meters deep in front of the stage stayed empty, something that I haven't really seen elsewhere but here in Estonia. It's a sort of a sacred Estonian respect-the-artist-from-a-distance zone, or something. Why stay close if you can enjoy it from afar? Granted, the sound is significantly better back there, so maybe it's a natural congregation of humans in areas of better sound. In any case, being somewhat known favoured Aides. Their music, in various aspects not unlike Dredg, with a bit of the same atmosphere, less dreamy, and more edgy and proggy, received a good welcome from the audience which could still not yet be called a crowd.
When Dredg came out, the audience could still not be called a proper crowd. I think you already get the idea that the chosen venue was too big for the gig at hand. Our other club for good rock and metal gigs, Tapper, would've been the better choice in this particular instance. However, there's something oddly satisfying in having the freedom to freely go through the crowd and just choose your own spot, you know, without all this (un)pleasant kicking fellow music lover in the ribs with your elbow kind of stuff.
Dredg live is a soaring emotional experience. Flying colours of emotion elevate you to a level where earthly needs of inflicting pain and suffering on others seem distant, puny, unnecessary, and irrelevant. When you are there, it just feels good to be there. It feels good to enjoy the world of music delivered with such passion. And Dredg are passionate about their music. They are calm when the songs are calm, they rock when the songs rock. I mean, you just have to take a look at their drummer. I knew the guy was passionate about it, and a bit on the crazy side to boot for the type of music Dredg play. The reality is he's pretty much insane, a sight to behold and see live with your own eyes. And yet, he is still so in the right place with the rest of the band.
For better or worse, depending on how you view Dredg's latest odd album Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy, the set list only included two songs off it, the ones that might be less in discordance with the rest of the songs. Otherwise, the gig was a good cross section of their albums with slight preference towards their masterpiece El Cielo. However, seeing Dredg live put the last album somewhat in perspective for me. Thinking back on it I kind of realise that whichever song they had chosen from Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy, it would have been a good fit. Because, well, it's still Dredg to the bone.
1. Ode To The Sun (Catch Without Arms)
2. Same Ol' Road (El Cielo)
3. Upon Returning (Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy)
4. Information (The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion)
5. Not That Simple (Catch Without Arms)
6. Whoa Is Me (El Cielo)
7. Movement V: 90 Hour Sleep (Leitmotif)
8. Light Switch (The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion)
9. Pariah (The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion)
10. Planting Seeds (Catch Without Arms)
11. Of The Room (El Cielo)
12. The Thought Of Losing You (Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy)
13. Triangle (El Cielo)
14. Lechium (Leitmotif)
15. Bug Eyes (Catch Without Arms)
16. The Canyon Behind Her (El Cielo)
17. Down To The Cellar (The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion)
I don't think I ever had a doubt about this gig. Something was telling me this could not go wrong. At least not on any major scale. Yes, it did suffer a bit by having a small audience. Then again, who wanted to be there, was there. It also suffered a bit from an over-amplification which is a usual thing at Rock Café. But that still couldn't mar the performance and the emotional kick I got out of it, on top of the sheer surprise over a chance of being able to see this band live. I think I can safely say that this was a pretty damn enjoyable evening with Dredg all in all.
Panic Inn: www.panic-inn.com, SoundCloud, MySpace
Aides: www.aides.ee, MySpace
Dredg: www.dredg.com, MySpace
Written on 11.10.2011 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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