Saturday, October 29, 2011

Photos: Boris @ Irving Plaza

Boris @ Irving Plaza - October 27, 2011

When Japanese noise-rock band Boris released Pink in 2005, it was released to extremely positive reviews, garnering large attention to the previously obscure group. The album is a behemoth of a listen, shuffling between psychedelia, sludge rock, droning metal riffs and melodic harmonies. And the production… man, the production on that album is just incredible. It just sounds so thick, and yet snappy in all the right places. Needless to say, it was one of my favorite albums that year.

For whatever reason, my chance to check them out in a live setting just never happened (that oddly occurs with a lot of bands, even when you go to 3-4 shows a week), but last night I finally got the chance to see them at Irving Plaza. A few hours beforehand, excited to see Boris, BBG (BrooklynVegan’s metal correspondent) warned me that they were not as amazing as I had been lead to believe. Generally I like my expectations to be lowered before going to see a band, as it usually makes for a much more enjoyable experience when you’re blown away by greatness. Unfortunately, BBG was right.

There’s something present in Boris’s recordings that just didn’t come across live last night. Where I was expecting a sludgy and hypnotic performance, I instead felt more like I was watching a band being told they needed to tone it down a bit. That’s not to say it was a bad show—songs like “Riot Sugar and “Statement” got the show off to a nice start—but soon after I felt like I was watching Boris-lite. It could have been that the crowd seemed absolutely stagnant throughout the set, which is not something I would have expected considering the hectic nature of their albums. Regardless, it was a reminder that sometimes bands achieve something on record that is just very difficult to reproduce live.

The highlight of the night for me, however, was catching opener Asobi Seksu’s cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Never Understand” as the second to last song of their set (I missed the first opener, Liturgy). Obviously a perfect cover for the dreamy shoegaze group, singer Yuki Chikudate bounced around the stage whipping her hair back and forth like a seven year old high on caffeine. I’ve seen Asobi a couple times before (and their drummer intermittently works at the rehearsal studio where my band practices), but I was actually more impressed by them than I was expecting. So the night wasn’t all full of disappointments…

Check out a full set of photos of both Asobi Seksu and Boris below…

Asobi Seksu


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