This Will Destroy You – Pico Union Project; Los Angeles, CA
This past weekend was an incredibly eventful one. There was hardly a moment to stop and collect my thoughts between Friday afternoon and yesterday. My sister made a somewhat impromptu visit to Los Angeles that threw weekend plans into flux (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and left me feeling like a tornado had ripped through town. It all started with my leaving work early on Friday in order to make a 7pm dinner reservation downtown at Otium. Her flight arrived early and yet thanks to traffic (her first such experience) it took her nearly two hours to get across town. We were three for dinner, as I had planned on seeing This Will Destroy You with a date that night. Did that make for a super-awkward dinner? I dunno. It couldn’t have been any worse than when Dinner Club hit up Otium nearly two years ago. I think we’re still all reeling from when Nate left his fucking chewing gum on one of our plates.
Dinner was delicious, of course. We split the kanpachi, the beets and avocado, and dry-aged beef tartare to start. Then we enjoyed that decadent foie gras strawberry funnel cake which was such a hit with the Dinner Club crowd. The rigatoni and “street corn” agnolotti were our mains, and then the grand chocolate macaron finished off the meal. Drinks were had, wines were sampled, I think a good time was had by all.
After dinner my sister took my car to Echo Park to meet up with all my friends, while I attended the aforementioned TWDY date at Pico Union Project. Never having seen a show there before, I had no idea what to make of the multi-faith cultural arts center. As it turned out, the sanctuary theatre turned out to be one of the most intimate venues I’ve encountered during my time in LA. Maybe the old Church on York (upstairs) was smaller, but this was right up there with it in terms of austerity/closeness to the performers. The website claims they can fit 375 people in the room, but my rough estimate (keep in mind I suck at math) was that maybe there were 150 attendees tops. Maybe I’m wrong. We chose to sat at the front of the balcony so my ability to survey the downstairs space was limited to what I could see from the bar in the back of the room.
Openers Glassing treated us to a powerful set. I really dug what they were doing musically but I would have enjoyed a little more variety in the vocal tone. My rough first impression was a more post-rock/post-metal sounding Ghost Bath. Great sonic textures, a really cool blend of math-y rhythms and sludge-y guitar, I just wanted more from the singer. Not necessarily nuance…just…I don’t know, maybe some cleanliness to go along with the shrillness? I thought they made for a great pairing with This Will Destroy You. I’ll say I preferred them to Balmorhea, which is super weird because Balmorhea has that album Constellations that I love…but I really disliked how they sounded when I saw them open for TWDY back in November of last year.
Okay, sorry. I’m rambling.
I came into this evening with high expectations for This Will Destroy You. The last time I saw them they were playing Young Mountain and This Will Destroy You in their entirety. That was great and all, but Another Language was one of my favorite albums of 2014 and it took almost three years to hear a single song from it in person! So hearing “Dustism,” “War Prayer,” and “New Topia” was great. Getting to hear a couple songs off Tunnel Blanket was even more exciting. I’ll just go ahead and say the show was way more entertaining than my shitty cellphone photos might appear. Without any elaborate staging or lighting you could focus more on the musicians and the sounds swirling around the room. I kind of which we had time to smoke a bowl in between dinner and the show. Oh well. Next time!
The Mighty Rio Grande
Burial On The Presidio Banks
Villa Del Refugio / Threads
Communal Blood [MP3]
They Move On Tracks Of Never-Ending Light (encore)
After the show I raced back to my apartment to meet up with my sister. I didn’t join her at the bar with my friends because we had a busy day in store for us the following day. Instead we watched an episode or two of Bojack Horseman, cracked a couple beers (Lost Abbey Veritas 018 and Rare Barrel BBA Seditious Ways), and chatted on my porch until jetlag finally caught up with her.
I’ll recap the rest of our adventure tomorrow if I have time.
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