Caspian – El Rey Theatre; Los Angeles, CA
When last we checked in with Caspian they were on tour in early November playing the Teragram ballroom. Last night they returned to Los Angeles in support of Kataonia, a band I’d never heard of until my Caspian-alert email arrived, and a band I’ve still never heard because I ducked out of the theatre and headed home before they took the stage. Sometimes there’s only one band on a bill you’re interested in, so you show up a little late and leave a little early. It taken ten years, but I’m finally beginning to understand the LA lifestyle.
What I know of Kataonia is that they’re a Swedish metal band that used to be in the death/doom world and now plays a more progressive style of hard/heavy rock. I wonder if getting paired with Katatonia played a small part in influencing Caspian’s song choice. They went with two extremely heavy older tunes to open the set, blasting through that one-two gut punch before taking a moment to catch their breaths and introduce themselves to the crowd. In doing so, they mentioned how they’d always wanted to play the El Rey, and joked that they were now going to play a song from their new album…which came out a year and a half ago. The final three songs of the night were “Rioseco,” “Arcs Of Command” and “Castle High, Marble Bright.”
Since first hearing “Castle High, Marble Bright” I’ve gone back and forth in my mind as to what is the most uplifting song they’ve composed. Is it this newest release? I think it might be. It really makes for an epic, beautiful way to close their sets. Kind of like when Mogwai used to close with “New Paths to Helicon, Pt. 1” all the time back in the day. In case you’re too lazy to click the above link to my review of their last show, I wrote about “Castle High, Marble Bright”: Written during the same sessions that saw the birth of what would become Dust And Disquiet, the song speaks to the sense of stubbornly epic, dramatically determined optimism Caspian has been trying to emulate with their music for the past twelve years. After a four year journey that took the band to thirty countries and saw them performing over 150 times, they began to view this song as both a celebration of the completion of this chapter of their lives, as well as an affirmation of their hopes for the future.
Hopefully we’ll get a new Caspian album before the next tour, but I’m happy to keep seeing them every time they pass through Los Angeles. Maybe we’ll do another ticket giveaway next time?
Caspian – Fire Made Flesh [MP3]
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