Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Asobi Seksu and Mates of State @ Sons of Hermann Hall

This past Friday, Asobi Seksu and Mates of State played at Sons of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum. Let me first say, that I think 'Sons' is my new favorite venue in Dallas. The one real choice for the bigger touring bands, has been The Gypsy. If a band is going to tour through North Texas, they either go there, or to Hailey's or Rubber Gloves in Denton. I love those two places, but Denton is pretty far for someone living in southern Dallas County. I've already voiced some of my opinion about The Gypsy on an earlier post. I do like the place, its just some of the ways that I have seen things done. Some good bands tour there so I won't complain too much. Anyway, it was good to have a new setting.

I'm someone who can't really enjoy a show if I'm not on the front row. Really, I need to be up there because taking photos at shows is something I need to do. Having said that, I wasn't too happy when I saw the line when John, Mary Anne, and I got inside. Despite it, Mary Anne and I worked our way up to the front, and John was on the second row to our right. John doesn't seem to care where he is at a show. I like that about him, but I need my front. Everyone we had gotten in front of, was shooting daggers. Oh well.

While we were waiting for everything to get started, I spotted Mike. It was good to see the guy. I hadn't seen him since Broken Social Scene. He just barreled through the crowd, which was easy to do with those kids. Dallas has its people that won't talk to you, and I think those are the same people that will also tell you not to get in front of them.

Asobi Seksu was quite the surprise. I listened to them for a couple of days leading up to the show, and I liked their recordings, but did not expect as much energy from them in a live setting. They really brought it though, and I'm glad they did. Some of her lyrics were in an Asian dialect, which I think was Japanese, but I don't want to say one way or the other. She said that they had been trapped in Oklahoma, forcing them to cancel those dates. She also said that she was thankful for how we received them, because it was nice to come back to after not playing. They tried to get the lights turned off on the stage, but Sons of Hermann is run by volunteers, I think, and they couldn't make it happen. We found why when they got into their set. The bass player has a pedal that triggers a strobe light, which does tend to look best with the lights off. Either way, they still used it, and it wasn't bad. They sounded very tight live (and no, I don't mean tight as in 'cool'). They play very nicely together and it will be good to see them further on down the road.

Note to fan-girls/guys: sound check does not me
an that the band is starting to play. As soon as someone hits a drum or plays a few notes on a keyboard, do not start to freak out. They will start soon enough. I'm glad I got that out of the way. It seems that the Mates of State crowd that was near me, was their VIP "We Love You" section. Anyway, I hadn't ever really listened to that much material from Mates of State, but I was surprised as to how much I knew. I think catchy music has its place, and if it has some meaning behind it, it is even better, and I don't think that Mates of State fills those requirements for me. John said after the show, that he had a hard time distinguishing his vocals from hers. I would have to agree with him on that. Granted, we were at the very front and sound does tend to be better if you are away from all that, but I think his observation was correct for the most part. All in all, I didn't hate their set. I think if they came around, I wouldn't go again, but I don't mean to be too harsh. It just isn't something that I would listen to everyday. They played a Kenny Loggins song as their next to last song. They said they knew most of his songs and that they would like to play one with Asobi, so they brought them all up and they played the song with the line "Even though we aint got money..." (sorry, I'm not to familiar with my Loggins). Mates of State certainly has a following, and I won't deny them that.

(Note: Asobi Seksu is not just two people, as it may seem from my photos. It was just hard to get them all. I have about 100 more photos)

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