Within the past few months I have spent a lot of time going to a lot more shows than I ever have. Throughout these 4 months or so I have seen some really amazing energetic performances and have also been subjected to some fairly horrible emotionless performances.
This show was one that leaned more toward emotionless and horrible.
But, I need to clarify that the opener Cadence Weapon was actually pretty awesome. Rollie Pemberton and his sweet redheaded DJ killed it. Pemberton’s persona on stage was captivating and his songs were original and the beats were bad ass.
As you can see from the clips he was all over the place and did a fine job getting the crowd fired up on a Wednesday (even if he wasn’t sure what day it was… Ha!). http://www.cadenceweaponmusic.com/
The headlining Liars; however, were a completely different experience. I have seen some shows where the band looks timid and slow or just in their own world all together. Usually I am fine with somber performances and am content to sit back and watch their music unfold. But, Liars were almost intolerable. I understand that their music is fairly abrasive and experimental, and the newest stuff off of WIXIW is fairly slow. But noisy / experimental music played without any energy or enthusiasm is a whole different thing. It was clear that after about a song and a half that the trio consisting of Angus Andrew, Aaron Hemphill, and Julian Gross didn’t seem to give a shit about putting on a great show. Their performance was stale and their stage presence came across as half dead.
Luckily for me the show ended after 45 minutes, about half the time of usual headlining slot. The bands excuse from Angus was that “They were cutting the set short tonight because a friend of ours wants to take us out for drinks”. Finally it all made sense, they were getting the show over with so they could go out before the bars closed.
Last time I checked the show was being held in a bar and if the band really wanted to party they could have easily done it on stage. Also there were at least 100 people there that paid $15 in hopes of seeing a quality performance. Instead we got half a show full of lackluster zombified noise. I might expect this kind of behavior from a band that is new to life on the road, but Liars have been around for over a decade and they are a band that people really enjoy (myself included). I also understand that bands can have “off” nights where the sound just isn’t quite there. But to walk up on stage and play half a sleepy set then inform the crowd that you are ending early to go party is straight up disrespectful and I for one was really let down.
So be careful when considering whether or not to spend your money to see Liars live. You might get a good show or might get a horrible one if they have something better to do that night.