*Do Make Say Think concert from September 16th, 2007
I went to this concert completely on a whim, and I was glad I did. Everything about it surprised me, since I expected it to be a more subdued event.
Outside the hall scared me, since the entire crowd seemed to be those sorts of young kids who define the average character in a Wes Anderson film. They all have very few articles of clothing, but all of them are unnecessarily quirky. Also, they act in such a way it is impossible to tell whether they are trying to be strange or if they suffer from being Autistic.
Inside it was a church. Not a normal church, since it lacked crosses, but one of those churches that celebrates individuality and being really left-wing. It threw me off for a bit, and made me feel uncomfortable, since I haven’t been in anything even vaguely church-related for a long time.
Electric Kompany came first. They remarkably started almost on time, and were almost painfully polite to the audience. Like the music they played, their performance built up. The first half sort of had me drifting in and out of attention (I thought the taped bits of dialogue were a bit too loud) but everything got very good when White Flag came on.
Voices became broken, and the band played in like a strange funk. This piece sort of saved the whole idea of White Flag (anti-Iraq war album, which is important to do but has been done alot of times before). ZRM stood for something in Romanian, said their leader. I wish I knew what it meant, since it was fantastic. As stood as that little keyboard started up, I knew it would come into something great. They ended their set on a high note, and I usually hate opening acts.
Do Make Say Think are uncomfortably dismissed as “watered-down Godspeed You Black Emperor”. This is unfair. They are a quieter, less pretentious version of that more beloved band. Possibly folksy meets Post Rock?, they did a pretty good job of upping the ante with each song. Again, like Electric Kompany, their whole performance grew better with each song. Finally they encouraged some of the most jaded music types to clap along to a rocklicking song, which oddly we agreed to.
They gave a wonderful, warm performance to people who do nothing but criticize everything and do things ironically. People stood up and applauded them loudly, for they knew they had been won over by polite Canadians.
Post Rock does a pretty good job of overwhelming you. This concert seemed to prove John Cage wrong when he called Glenn Branca’s sounds “musical fascism.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, it is an overwhelming sound. Yes, it requires a great deal of musicians (11 in Do Make Say Think’s case). But there seems to always exists a certain hopeful, leftist political slant to all the music, whether vocal or (more often) Wordless. Thankfully the left was able to claim this territory for their own. The right can stick to their Ted Nugent BS.